Over the past week, Nintendo released its newest console in all the markets, and while we will still have to wait to get sales information in most territories, retailers in the United Kingdom have already shared their numbers, and they are good news.
The Nintendo Switch sold 80.000 consoles in its UK launch. A strong debut that is double what Nintendo’s previous home console, Wii U, managed in its debut back in 2012 (40.000). However, the new hardware falls short of the 113.000 consoles that Nintendo 3DS sold during its debut week in 2011.
Nintendo Switch is in a very unique situation as a device that combines features from both home consoles and portables. That makes it difficult to predict and review its sales results, although at the end of the day it’s obvious that high debut sales are important in order to gain the confidence of the public and developers.
While it is a strong debut among Nintendo devices, the newest release falls short in comparison of other consoles in the market such as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which managed 250.000 and 150.000 consoles sold respectively in their first week.
Nintendo Switch arrives with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as its most important game in its launch lineup. Preceded by excellent reviews, the game has managed the third biggest launch in the long-running series, placing at number 2 in the sales charts, below PS4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn. Other games part of the launch lineup are the new IP 1,2 Switch and Super Bomberman R.
As we have seen over decades, launch sales are just a small part in the success or failure of consoles. Nintendo’s previus releases are a good example of this: While 3DS’ debut was very strong, its numbers sharply fell over the following weeks. But after some important software releases and price cuts, the portable console managed to become a big success for the company. On the other hand, Wii U could not manage the same achievement, getting low sales in its debut that did not pick up in the rest of its life cycle.
For that reason, we will be eagerly expecting Nintendo Switch’s sales numbers in the coming weeks, as they will help us to predict what the future holds for the new console.