Consumer Electronics

Nintendo Switch Becomes Fastest-Selling Game Console Ever

Paul Ausick

What makes the Nintendo Switch game console unique is its ability to be played on the go or at home in front of a player’s TV. That uniqueness has translated into booming sales.

The Switch has sold 4.8 million units in the United States in its first 10 months on the market, beating the previous all-time best seller — Nintendo’s Wii — which sold 4 million U.S. units in the first 10 months following its release.

The company attributed the Switch’s strong showing to a strong library of games, including Super Mario Odyssey which some 60% of U.S. Switch owners have purchased. Another big seller, with more than 55% of Switch owners laying down cash for, is “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”

The president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, said:

Fans across the country have experienced the joy of playing their favorite games at home or on the go. Now that many more people have received Nintendo Switch systems for the holidays, we look forward to bringing them fun new surprises in 2018 and beyond.

For the Switch’s unique capability as either a mobile gaming device or a home console, consumers paid $300, less than the $400 price of a Sony PlayStation 4 and much less than the $500 Xbox One from Microsoft.

The console was generally widely available, but Nintendo is credited with keeping the market well-enough supplied rather than just well-supplied. This seeming scarcity not only creates the ever-valuable buzz, but it can move tire-kickers to become buyers just in case they can’t find one later on.

Nintendo also sold nearly 3.3 million units in Japan in its first year on the market in the company’s home country. That beats a previous record set by the PlayStation 2 and the Wii. The company sold 900,000 units in December alone according to a report at Polygon.