Report: ‘Legend of Zelda’ Sells Huge Alongside Nintendo Switch’s 1.5 Million-Unit Launch


The launch of the Nintendo Switch is looking strong, buoyed by consumer enthusiasm for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

SuperData reports that the Nintendo Switch has already moved 1.5 million units. That’s a very healthy figure for less than two weeks on the market, and a brisk pace toward Nintendo’s goal of selling 2 million by the end of March. It is even more impressive considering that SuperData’s numbers largely only account for the first week — it has been almost two since release — and that they only account for sell-through.

Sell-through represents the number of consoles that are in consumers’ hands, as opposed to how many consoles Nintendo is shipping to meet retail demand. This means that the Nintendo Switch’s numbers are almost certainly significantly higher than this report indicates.

89% of people who bought a Nintendo Switch also purchased The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. An attach rate of nearly 9 out of 10 customers is mind-blowing, but it isn’t unwarranted. In case you missed the memo, Breath of the Wild is really quite good. It may, in fact, be the best game that Nintendo has ever produced.

That’s very good news for a console that has so far been known primarily for its mystifying design decisions, and also a lack of features and services that most consumers have come to expect from a modern console. Nintendo has also been dealing with various hardware issues since the launch, with complaints that range from controller syncing issues to the console’s own dock carving scratches into the portable screen.

The launch of the Nintendo Switch recalls the seeming smash-hit Nintendo 3DS, which started strong but fell off in sales almost immediately. The company is confident it can avoid a repeat performance with first-party titles like next month’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but it remains to be seen if consumers will be as excited for the re-release of a 3-year-old Wii U title as they are the magnum opus of the acclaimed Zelda franchise.

Nevertheless, the success of a new console is good for the entire industry, adding competition and variety to a landscape that otherwise tends toward repetitive annual sequels and shies away from new ideas.

Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.


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