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Nintendo Switch is the fastest-selling game console of all time

by Eric Frederiksen | January 4, 2018January 4, 2018 10:00 am EST

It seems like it’s hot and cold with Nintendo. The Wii was an unprecedented success, and the Wii U was anything but. But the big N got its groove back with the Switch, and now the Japanese game maker has its greatest success yet on its hands. The Nintendo Switch is “the fastest-selling home video game system in U.S. history,” according to a press release from Nintendo.

In the 10 months since its March 3 launch, the system has sold 4.8 million units in the United States alone, Nintendo says. That makes it a hotter item than any other console in its first 10 months, including the Wii, which sold 4 million units in the same time frame. It’s tough to nail down sales numbers for other consoles on a market by market basis, as companies usually want to boast the biggest number available unless, as in this case, the smaller number is some kind of record breaker.


Nintendo also offered up some game sales numbers in the announcement. 60 percent of Switch owners have copies of Super Mario Odyssey and 55 percent have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That’s a pretty massive attach rate. More than half of switch owners picked up Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as well and even Splatoon 2 saw a pretty respectable 20 percent attach rate. Nintendo has had trouble selling third-party games in recent years, and the company isn’t dropping any numbers for non-Nintendo titles, suggesting that may still be the case, though it seems likely that games like Minecraft and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle probably did pretty well for the console all the same.

It’s official: Nintendo is back. Now the company just has to avoid the big hurdles that tripped it up last time around. Shovelware – quickly released, poor quality software – made it even harder for third-party developers to get their software noticed on the system. And when they eventually follow up the Switch with another Switch revision or a new console, it needs to be immediately obvious whether it’s a new console or not – a problem that plagued the Wii U throughout its lifetime. For now, though, it seems the company has a success on its hands.

Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...