Nintendo’s Switch has been flying off store shelves and is on track to hit the company’s target of two million devices shipped within March. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has also been extremely popular, selling almost as fast as the handheld itself.
According to game and research firm SuperData, information its received from various sources indicate the Switch has shifted 500,000 consoles in this country alone, with 360,000 shipping to Japan, 85,000 units in the UK, and 110,000 in France (a full country-by-country breakdown was not available). These figures only reflect the first week of sales, which puts Nintendo well on its way to hitting its two-million Switch target.
The initially strong response to the Switch seems to have been significantly driven by one game: Zelda: Breath of the Wild. According to SuperData, they estimate 89% of Switch owners have bought the title, with 1.34 million copies sold to-date. This doesn’t even include the Wii U version, though if analyses of that platform’s performance are accurate, it’s easily the worst way to experience the game.
As many others have noted, however, AAA games for the Switch are a bit thin on the ground, even by the standards of a console launch. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a hefty upgrade to the original Mario Kart 8, but it’s not an all-new title in the franchise. Splatoon 2 isn’t expected until summer, Fire Emblem Warriors debuts this fall, and Super Mario Odyssey will launch for the holiday season. Between these tentpole launches are a decent handful of indie titles and a few ports of older games, like Lego City Undercover.
If Nintendo can keep interest and sales in the Switch high, despite a relatively anemic launch lineup, it’ll be well on its way to redeeming the disastrous Wii U. If it can’t, we’ll know before too long. The Wii U may have debuted well against the Switch, but its sales went into a tailspin shortly thereafter and never recovered. The 3DS suffered a similar problem, though in that case Nintendo made some smart moves to reduce the handheld’s price and boost its popularity.
If the Switch starts to falter, Nintendo does have a similar option: Sell the console without the dock and either allow it to connect directly to an HDMI port on the TV, or simply offer it in a handheld option with the Dock as a secondary, purchasable peripheral. Then again, something strange seems to be going on with the Switch Dock anyway. Last week, Nintendo removed the $ 89.99 peripheral (which came with AV cables and a power adapter), claiming it had run out of stock. Now the Switch Dock is back in stock at $ 89.99, but without AV cables or a power adapter. It’s literally a replacement dock as opposed to allowing you to have multiple docks in your home. Nintendo did cut the price to $ 59.99, but the $ 89.99 unit is apparently gone.
Of course, someone will figure out how to rig a power adapter for it, and HDMI cables aren’t exactly hard to find, but Nintendo seems to be uncertain what kinds of Switch peripherals it should offer and at what price points. Hopefully we see the Switch debut as a dedicated handheld at some point in the future. It’s strongest in that mode, and a huge leap forward compared to the Nintendo 3DS.