Nintendo Switch Sales Were Beaten by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Nintendo Switch sales were impressive, but the latest Zelda game was unstoppable.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

The number of Nintendo Switch units shipped during its launch month has been revealed by Nintendo, with the company delivering a hugely impressive 2.74 million units to retailers. While this number doesn’t reflect the console’s sales with complete accuracy, considering the problems retailers had with their Switch stock following its launch, it’s likely that it is pretty close to the number of Switch sales that were made throughout March. This means that the Switch launch has officially been a success, with it coming close to the 3.2 million Wii units that were shipped during its launch month.

But while these Switch numbers are impressive, they have been overshadowed slightly by the staggering number of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild copies that were shipped during the same time period. The company’s financial results revealed that 2.76 million units of the Switch version of Breath of the Wild have been shipped, which suggests that more copies of the game have been sold than the console it helped launch.

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It’s believed that the game shifted more copies than its console as a result of people either buying a collector’s edition ahead of the Switch’s launch, or due to people buying copies of both the Switch and Wii U versions of the game. 1.08 million units of the Wii U copy of the game were shifted, making it twice as popular on  Nintendo’s new console. These numbers suggest that Breath of the Wild and the Switch sold almost 1:1, which would make it the most successful launch game ever outside of bundled titles such as Wii Sports.

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Nintendo also reported that it had made a net profit of $925 million in the 2016 financial year, bolstered by the huge success of Pokemon Sun and Moon and its 15.44 million units shipped, and the continued success of the 3DS which enjoyed a 7 per cent sale increase as a result of Sun and Moon‘s launch, selling 7.27 million units. Pokemon Go was another mammoth success, with the company achieving profits of around $180 million in the mobile game alone.

The company is projecting that the Switch will ship over 10 million units by the end of the financial year. Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima stated that he expects the company to pull in $6.7 billion in revenue and $404 million in net profit, with this profit being affected by the company ramping up its marketing budget for the Switch.