There has never been another console quite like the Nintendo Switch. Similar perhaps, but not wholly unique in the same vein. The Switch is equal parts a living room console for gaming on the big screen television, and a portable handheld for gaming on the go. It's also more than those two things—nobody's ever huddled around a Gameboy for multiplayer action. Given the Switch's trailblazing form and function, it shouldn't be too surprising that it's now officially the fastest selling game system of all time.
Tracking firm NPD Group pegs Nintendo Switch sales in the United States at more than 906,000 units in March. Not only does that figure represent the most consoles ever sold during the first month of availability, but in happened in what is considered a non-traditional month for a console launch. Nevertheless, Nintendo was able to keep the momentum going after the Switch had already notched the most sales during the first two days of availability of any Nintendo console in history.
"Nintendo always strives to offer consumers something fun, new and different," said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s President and COO. "With its various play modes and the innovative features of the Joy-Con controllers, Nintendo Switch provides unique experiences that people can take with them anywhere and share with anyone."
That is not just marketing speak. Nintendo has found success by going against the grain and avoiding a specs war with Sony and Microsoft. The Wii introduced motion controls to the console scene, while the Wii U integrated an LCD into the control pad. With the Switch, Nintendo has once again delivered a different type of console, a meshing of earlier models while still avoiding a confrontation with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on raw performance.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is proving just as popular. It was previous reported that Switch and Zelda sales were at about a 1:1 ratio, and NPD Group's data suggests that is indeed the case. Nintendo has sold more than 1.3 million copies of Zelda, including 925,000 units for the Switch and another 460,000 for the Wii U. That means Nintendo has sold more copies of Zelda for the Switch than it has Switch consoles, giving it an attach rate of more than 100 percent. NPD Group reckons this is because some buyers may have purchased a limited edition of the game as a collectible and a second version to actually play.
It will be interesting to see if the Switch can keep the momentum going, especially after Nintendo is able to increase supply to keep up with demand. As it stands, the Switch is incredibly difficult to obtain. We managed to get our hands on one and will have a full review soon, but it took standing outside of a Toys R Us store location before it opened to secure it.