Nintendo Switch Breaks Sales Records, Zelda: Breath of the Wild Best Selling Launch Title

Nintendo is finally back on top, it seems, as first week sales of the Nintendo Switch show a very exciting future for the console and its games.

In Nintendo’s home country of Japan, Famitsu is reporting that the Switch sold 313,700 units. While about 60k units short of the Wii’s launch sales, it’s only 8k away from the PS4’s launch sales in the region. This also means it outsold the Wii U, PSP, GameCube, and PS3 during all of their respective launches.

Meanwhile, in the UK, early reports are stating that about 80k Switches were sold. While double the Wii U’s launch numbers, this is nowhere near the PS4 and Xbox One’s launch sales.

However, in the United States, the Nintendo Switch has officially become the fastest selling console in Nintendo’s history, outselling the Wii in the same two-day time period.

Along with this, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has outsold Super Mario 64 to become Nintendo’s best selling standalone launch game of all time.

While launch sales don’t translate into success, it is a very good sign of if the Nintendo Switch will exceed the Wii U’s sales.

Nintendo Switch is available now (if you can find it) for 299$. In case you missed it, you can find our initial review of the console here. Expect our thorough review for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in the coming days.


Matthew Sigler


Currently interning at Niche Gamer. I've been playing video games since I was three years old.

  • Ace

    People really love new Legend of Zelda games, that’s the only way I can explain why this and the Wii broke launch records.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    Yeah, I don’t know how much higher these sales will get when more people notice the screeching or the orange screen of death

  • Dom The Elegy

    And that’ll be all the sales for the next 9 or so months until Mario drops.

  • scemar

    that’s nice and all but this really has been the most disastrous launch in Nintendo’s history when it comes to QUALITY

    when is Nichegamer going to report or comment about it?

    seems like something a honest media should take a look into

    they’ve even pulled out the dock from their store it seems
    I personally hope they fix many of the design flaws, oversights and issues in the system but people need to start talking about it more

  • Jumanji Joe

    I bet all 10 of the people that bought one are pleased.

  • CrimsonColossus

    The thing also seems to be breaking itself as well.

  • totenglocke

    Only for the minority who aren’t careful with it.

  • Malcolm_Ecks

    Didn’t the Wii U break the same kind of records though…

  • AuraMaster DX (austin9568)
  • KissDisqus

    Oh geez I got one for my brother as a present. He hasn’t called me about any issues so far so hopefully his is fine.

    I’ll pick one up when mario odyssey releases and they got all their kinks in order.

  • Bitterbear

    Well, the audience wanted Nintendo to be more like Sony and Microsoft. This is them channeling Microsoft’s Xbox360 RROD launch screwup.

  • Mr0303

    Those seem like decent enough sales. Curious to see what numbers will it make by the end of the year.

  • Androzz

    Lmao, this is no place for shitty CrowbCat shitposting because people ain’t gonna take it ironicaly.

  • Guest

    The problem with this type of thinking though is we don’t really know how widespread some of these issues are. How many Switches actually have some of these defects? There’s millions of units out there and you can’t necessarily take a handful of videos as evidence of mass failure when there’s such a hyperbolic spotlight on the system’s launch issues.

    The only real oversight is the dock. I don’t know what genius thought a soft plastic screen sliding down hard plastic rails would be a good idea. Maybe at the last minute some idiot decided they needed to use cheaper screens, or changed the design of the dock to be cheaper to manufacture. I put it in once and it left a scuff on the bezel, there’s no way they went through design and testing without seeing how easily the screen gets fucked up. Thankfully it wasn’t deep enough to leave a permanent mark and I ordered a screen protector right away. They’re going to have to change the design of the dock or ship the system with something to prevent that screen from being damaged. Maybe they got ripped off by whoever sold them the screens because I have a hard time imagining how they could reason producing a handheld device with something that malleable as the screen.

    The rest of it is business as usual for mass produced modern systems. Every system since the PS2 has had a ‘whatever light/screen of death’ or disc drive issues, thermal issues, power issues, on and on. You can’t mass produce these things and expect not to see any issues at launch anymore, it’s not a Nintendo 64.

  • InfectedAI

    What does it mean by standalone launch game? What counts as standalone and what doesn’t?

  • InfectedAI

    Launch screwup? It persisted throughout its entire life cycle.

  • InfectedAI

    From what I’ve seen it’s nothing on the user end. Though I’d need to see more to know for certain.

  • For one I’m amazed someone actually spent money on a Switch, top kek Nintoddlers, did someone tell you there was going to be an Undertale port?
    For two, you could have ended the post title “Nintendo Switch Breaks” and had an equally true, yet more informative headline.

  • If you think the switch is alone in day one problems, take a look at some of the other videos the same guy made.
    And remember that these are the outliers. The majority of people are not experiencing these issues, with the exception of the stupid joycon wriststrap thing. THAT is stupid.

  • Splatoon 2?
    Xenoblade 2 is also supposed to release this year.

  • Bitterbear

    The Switch is still young. It has many years of screwups ahead.

  • garf02

    Might want to check the famitsu numbers, last time i check em, the site listed 330k units sold, not only 313

    Also it seems that EU overal (not only UK) its reported that switch is also the historical best launch hardwAre for nintendo in that region too

  • garf02

    Dont you have and horizon gAme to play or something kid??

  • garf02

    Gamr that release on the same day as the game and IS NOT bundled with the consoles

  • garf02

    The fun part is that this is a march release date, while almost all the other consoles iscompare to released during the high time sales period that is holidays


  • InfectedAI

    Ah, that makes a ton of sense. Thanks.

  • Joe

    No way is Xenoblade 2 coming this year. Not gonna happen.

  • Dom The Elegy

    Forgot about Splatoon 2. So it’ll be closer to 6 months without any titles that move units.
    And yeah, what Joe said, there’s /no/ way Xenoblade 2 comes out this year. I wouldn’t even be surprised if it didn’t come out in 2018 either.

  • scemar

    yeah sure the joycon wristrap thing is stupid

    and so is the usb charger on the buttom of the system
    and the filmy way the joycons attach to the switch
    the super cheap quality of the dock which actually scratches the screen if used as intended
    or the fact that joycons disconnect if there are near wireless devices (like smartphones) and yet nintendo recommends using a smartphone app with the system

    all those are genuine design flaws and mistakes

    oh yeah and the fact that you cannot transfer or back up or copy memory saves from the games is the cherry on top
    there’s no justification for this whatsoever, it’s a basic and necessary user feature that Nintendo is denying its consumers

    bottom line in this context, for the longtime nintendo consumer it doesn’t matter what sony or microsoft do or how low their standards for quality are, their launch blunders are irrelevant

    what matters is that with nintendo a certain level of polish and quality had always been delivered and expected, there was a certain level of trust in them
    and they fucked it up big time in a way that seemed inconsolable before

    so is this the new nintendo?
    are we just supposed to get used to this and accept it?

    I’d be ok with that if nintendo comes out and says “we got tired of delivering good quality, polished and reliable products, rushing out trash is better business” but they have to get of their high horse and walk with the peasants from now on, no more acting like they care about quality or their consumers anymore

  • Travis Touchdown

    The numbers aren’t set in stone, yet. They’re always ticking upwards.

  • totenglocke

    Mario Kart is in April, then Splatoon 2 in the summer. Who knows what’s in the fall, then Mario by Christmas.

  • Bret Hart

    Mmmmm so many salty tears yum yum.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Those numbers are actually pretty good considering this came out in March and not November.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    This is why you probably shouldn’t get any console at launch.

  • edge

    Well, there probably is going to be an undertale port even if it hasn’t been said. I still don’t understand it’s popularity

  • Bret Hart

    “People enjoying something I dont like? How can that be?”

    Let it go princess.

  • Bret Hart

    Didn’t you learn how to read? It clearly says in the article the Wii U did not.

  • totenglocke

    I have one and know a couple people with them. Ours are all unscathed because we’re extremely gentle with them.

  • Dale Frewaldt

    There are some issues, but overall I’m impressed and looking forward to the Switch’ future. It has the fastest, cleanest OS design I’ve ever experienced on a console.

  • Tubsiwub

    In an article about record sales, you claim that barely anyone purchased one?

  • SuuLoliBoob

    Don’t forget about the PS4 Pro launch as well, which had consoles sounding like jet engines and crashing/dying.

  • InfectedAI

    That seems way too anecdotal. Also an assumption that it’s because you were gentle with them. Some of the issues seem like manufacturing issues and Nintendo’s responses come across as damage control. Not something they would have to do if it wasn’t widespread or if it was user error. Hopefully we’ll get a clearer picture within the next few weeks.

  • SuuLoliBoob

    Everything i agree with, other then the Joycon strips, because that’s from people not paying attention and being retarded, not nintendo’s fault that people can’t fellow directions. That’s kinda like saying it’s Sonys/Microsofts fault for people putting discs upside down in the console.

  • -blank-

    My big damn problem is a lot of units at launch seemed kinda iffy. Which is to be expected, the same thing happened with the New 3DS.

    Not a great first impression but I’m really glad Nintendo is doing well all the same. Looking to grab one from the next wave of console after some of the issues have been ironed out

  • CRES

    But if you put the disc in upside-down in the system, nothing will happen and you can just take it out and put it back the correct way. With the Joycon strips it seems if you slip them on incorrectly, you’d have a hard time even taking them off. THAT seems like a design flaw. Either design them so that it can’t be attached any other way, or at least make sliding them off a simple matter.

    Yeah, I say wait until a improved model comes out further down the line.

  • Heresy Hammer

    Crowbcat keks aside, that dead pixel policy is complete bullshit. I don’t know what the fuck they were thinking when it came to the dock design either. For the joycons it is people putting it on the wrong way (wrist strap goes down not up obviously) but to be fair the the + and – symbols on the straps are not highlighted and could easily be overlooked. I can see this issue arising with mostly children since thats usually the core demographic for nintendo consoles, but I can imagine a bunch of scenarios where anyone could fuck up the wrist straps.

  • Michael Richardson

    See what happens when you actually advertise your damn console, Nintendo?

    Loving mine at the moment. Portable Breath of the Wild is probably the coolest thing I’ve seen yet in gaming tech.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    While I I agree, most of these are rather small issues compared to other hardware defects, half of which aren’t defects, they’re personal grips.

    And in the case of save transfers, its not entirely new for Nintendo. Its been a thing since the Gamecube.

    The putting the straps backwards issue, while they could make the markers more visible, isn’t so much a design flaw as what happens if you force something in the wrong way.

    Its a lot like blaming Nintendo for people throwing their wii-remotes through their TV, or smacking themselves with it.

    I mean hell, at least it isn’t chewing up up discs if it so much as budges an inch, or failing soon out of the box. The PS3’s YLOD was within normal limits, so yeah, they still hold the title for high quality standards.

    Microsoft and Sony’s standards aren’t irrelevant, unless you intend to uphold a double-standard. Its impossible for them to have this ‘supreme quality’ without also being compared to others for theirs.

  • edge

    “Someone not liking something I like and neither insulting or demeaning people”
    Dear god, you better tell all the social media on me.

  • Shin Megami Tensei

    How so? It has no competition

  • Shin Megami Tensei

    My pro has zero probs, had it since it came out.

  • Himegami Aisa

    March is generally not a high point for sales so these figures are impressive given the timing of its release.

  • Himegami Aisa

    Yeah, these isolated cases mean nothing until we get a proper failure rate survey to assess how said common defects are, which presumably would need to be conducted in a year anyway to get the full picture.

  • Himegami Aisa

    The problem is the ease with which you can put it on the wrong way. If you really had to jam it in I’d be content to just call whoever did that a retard, but it appears it doesn’t require much more force if any to put it on wrong. If you can absent-mindedly fuck up your controller (not even mentioning every kid will try it within a week of playing with the thing guaranteed), that’s absolutely a flaw.

  • Eden

    My guess is that we’ll get several ports from the Wii U in the fall. I don’t see Nintendo releasing anything major that would compete with Mario.

  • Eden

    That will probably be fixed by the holiday season. PS4 had it’s issues as well when it first launched and it seemed to go away after the 2nd batch of shipments went out.

  • Himegami Aisa

    Taking a page out of Travis Touchdown’s book.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    While I see you’re point, I still wouldn’t consider that a flaw simply because its ‘easy’ to do. You can screw up a lot of things by simply not paying attention. Its something actually within your control.

    The system basically scratching itself on the other hand isn’t, and sadly its not even the first time it was a problem.

    Like I said, I’d put it in the same boat as the Wii-remote issues, or come to think of it, the N64 joystick issue.

    It wasn’t really a problem on their end, but it was still a good idea to respond to it, and definitely nice of them to go out of their way to resolve it.

  • Himegami Aisa

    I’d put it more in the league of, say, if putting in the cartridge the wrong way jammed the port (something expressly designed to not be the case with most consoles). Yeah, it shouldn’t be a problem ideally, but that’s a scenario you would reasonably expect them to have addressed in some way. You can say the blame falls on the consumer, sure, but ultimately foolproofing and a lack thereof reflects on the company. If 1 in 10 morons/parents have to return their joypads to get them fixed that costs both the bottom line and their reputation.

  • Bret Hart

    Everyone kept saying the release date was awful and they should waited for holidays. Hows them apples now?

  • Bret Hart

    Nah thats OK. The earth will still keep turning and nothing you can do can stop someone from enjoying their Nintendo Switch weither you like it or not.

  • Shin Megami Tensei

    Who is everyone?

  • Shin Megami Tensei

    Literally no other hardware releasing in March. It has no competition in the tablet market.

  • >didn’t beat PS4 launch numbers
    >”Nintendo is back on top”

    Something is amiss, here.

  • People also enjoy heroin and beating their kids, that doesn’t make it good.

  • Himegami Aisa

    What? You do realise that games consoles aren’t the kind of things people buy on a monthly basis, right? Even taking the fact that there’s no new consoles being released in the same month as a major factor, people do most of their discretionary spending around December. Most products that fall under that category are released around then for a reason.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    November is right before Christmas and Black Friday when most people are willing to shell out for consoles. March is considerably quieter.

  • Bret Hart

    Wow. Your sick. You need to reevaluate your life when you think playing a video game console is even comparable to those two.

  • Phasmatis75

    Considering that the launch has had some pretty severe issues that will persist, it’s a pretty shortsighted move. Yes they made decent money from no competition, but now come the heavy sales season they’ll be hurt because people will know the consoles short comings, and the hype will be gone.

    Medium term this move will bite Nintendo.

  • Shin Megami Tensei

    And? Its not like november and december sales are based around gaming alone.

  • Shin Megami Tensei

    Yes people spend more on christmas but it doesnt mean all the sales belong to video games. A new console that is cheap with no hardware competition is bound to sell regardless of quality. I mean shits a nintendo tablet are you people daft?

  • My sick what? :^)

  • Bret Hart

    You honestly think the majority of consumers care about a systems performance you are fooling yourself and ignoring history. No one cared when the 360 had a launch failure rate of 80% due to the red ring and it still outsold the PS3. Games sell systems. Nintendo will have a stacked library for the switch by the holiday season. They will sell very well and be profitable.

    There is nothing you can do to stop that from happening.

  • Phasmatis75

    Considering performance does impact the viability of systems, yes I do. Until those games emerge the system could very well end up like the Wii U and remember if the system doesn’t sell, companies won’t consider it worth investing in developing games for it, which the console needs to sell.

    The sales of the Switch already aren’t phenomenal, so let part onto you some wisdom from the farm: don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

  • Bret Hart

    “Considering performance does impact the viability of systems, yes I do.”

    I just pointed out that isn’t the case at all. Your purposely ignoring consumer history by making that argument. The people that complain about this on the internet is not the majority of consumers and you know this.

    “The sales of the Switch already aren’t phenomenal,”

    Commenting in a news post saying that Switch sales are phenomenal. Wow, someone is desperate to damage control. What is so wrong with Nintendo being successful?

    “so let part onto you some wisdom from the farm: don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

    Which is exactly what you are doing.

    “Until those games emerge the system could very well end up like the Wii U and remember if the system doesn’t sell, companies won’t consider it worth investing in developing games for it, which the console needs to sell.”

    Remember? You posted that. Stop telling others what the future will be when you don’t know yourself.

  • SiliconNooB

    If you consider Mario Odyssey and three Wii U ports to be a stacked library, then sure…