Compared to Nintendo’s last console release, the Wii U which sold 40,000 units over its launch weekend in the UK, the Switch has doubled the number of units sold. The 3DS, a quite good selling Nintendo console, sold 113,000 in its opening weekend, which indicates that the Switch might be nearly as popular. Gamestop called the console’s launch one of the strongest the retailer has experienced in several years.
Sales for the 3DS fell sharply after its launch weekend, which many believe is the result of a packed launch lineup of games with little to nothing planned for the proceeding months. Nintendo has already announced a huge number of games which will be releasing for the Switch in the future, and has even given vague launch dates. We can expect Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition at the end of March, Super Mario Odyssey later in 2017, and Splatoon 2 early in 2018.
Among these big titles for the console are smaller indie titles which are being sold to users via the Switch’s online shop. Games such as Human Resource Machine and The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth+ will provide a steady stream of new games for any Switch owners between big releases.
However, when you compare the console’s launch weekend unit sales to those of its competitors they don’t look as good. The Playstation 4 sold 250,000 units in its launch weekend, and the Xbox One sold 150,000, both of which are far higher than the Nintendo Switch. This could be attributed to consumers hesitating whether to buy the console due to the Wii U’s reputation.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a Nintendo Switch launch title, made it to second position in the UK top selling software sales chart. This is an encouraging start considering the game it’s behind is Horizon Zero Dawn, a Playstation 4 exclusive that has a huge playerbase already established. The launch of the latest Zelda game is the third biggest in 2017, just behind Resident Evil 7. Two other Nintendo Switch titles made it into the same sales chart, 1-2 Switch took fourth place, and Bomberman R made it to seventh.
A comparison of The Switch with Wii, the best-selling Nintendo console ever, as a matter of fact, the best selling console for any manufacturer, which sold over 100 million units during its life time, is not that impressive for The Switch. But we have to remember that Wii released in November of 2006, and November is the busiest month for console sales because of the upcoming holidays season. The Switch released in March, the least busy season, and for such a quiet time it’s doing pretty well. This strategy may appear quite clever, as the main goal for selling consoles is to sell games. By the time of Christmas 2017, a good number of Switch consoles will already be sold, which will boost The Switch platform video games sales in the holiday season.