Switch

Switch Fastest Selling Game System Ever In United States

by Donald Theriault - January 4, 2018, 5:22 am PST
Total comments: 26 Source: Nintendo

Nintendo now has the top two slots.

The Switch's first ten months have put Nintendo into a Wii position.

Nintendo confirmed today that 4.8 million Switches have been sold in the United States in the first ten months, a 20% increase over the Wii that previously held the record. The numbers are based on Nintendo internal tracking.

Game sales for major Nintendo titles were also announced in proportion to Switch sales. Super Mario Odyssey has sold to 60% of Switch owners for at least 2.88m copies, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sold to 55% of Switch owners (>2.64m), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 50% (>2.4m) and Splatoon 2 20% (>960,000).

Talkback

LemonadeJanuary 04, 2018

It makes me very happy to know that Swtch is selling super well.

I wonder if it is possible for Switch to outsell Wii lifetime sales.

Switch is exactly what I wanted as a game console, and I'm extremely happy to see it appeals to a lot of other people as well.

Luigi DudeJanuary 04, 2018

Quote from: Lemonade

I wonder if it is possible for Switch to outsell Wii lifetime sales.

Well the DS outsold the Wii by over 50 million so the Switch has a good chance since it's combining handheld and home console support into one.  This should help it maintain its momentum longer then the Wii was able to.

Ian SaneJanuary 04, 2018

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Switch is exactly what I wanted as a game console, and I'm extremely happy to see it appeals to a lot of other people as well.

I think that's the whole key to the Switch's success - the concept is something people actually want.  Look at the top Switch sellers.  Zelda and Mario Kart are also Wii U games and Splatoon 2 is an iterative sequel to a Wii U game.  So the Wii U had games people wanted, it's just that the console's concept of having a big touchscreen controller that's tethered to the same building the system is in made no sense.  It wasn't something anyone thought of asking for and there wasn't an obvious benefit to it.  But the Switch is something people were asking for - can I have a console and handheld in one?  It's really the Wii U concept if it met people's expectation that you could take the Gamepad anywhere.

Nintendo hasn't made traditional consoles since the Wii.  The Wii and Switch were successful, the Wii U was not.  I think the key thing that Nintendo has to learn from this is if a console is based around a concept it has to be a concept that people have dreamed about, not some abstract concept they need to be sold on.  The Wii took off because swinging your arms and having the character on screen do the same thing was something people wished for since they first saw a videogame.  Handheld videogames have been around for a long time and the whole demand for them was "how can I take videogames everywhere?"  But we always had to deal with a compromised scaled-back experience for portable gaming.  The second the Game & Watch came out everyone thought "man, it would be awesome if this could play the same games as my home console".  These ideas are actually pretty damn obvious ones, they just needed someone to work out the tech and put it in an affordable product.

I think the Switch can outsell the Wii because the Wii was one-dimensional and once the novelty wore off the general public lost interest in it.  The Switch isn't a gimmick, it's a perfectly conventional video game system that happens to work well as both a handheld and a console.  There isn't as much of a restriction on the types of games devs can make for it, unless we really start seeing the beefed up specs of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X getting pushed.  I think the wild card might be the Switch's online system which is a key part of the system that is still TBA.  If Nintendo really buggered that up then maybe it might sour people on the Switch, particularly since this is now a pay-service.  Nintendo's usual online buffoonery benefitted from being free.

AdrockJanuary 04, 2018

Quote from: Ian

it's just that the console's concept of having a big touchscreen controller that's tethered to the same building the system is in made no sense.  It wasn't something anyone thought of asking for and there wasn't an obvious benefit to it.

People had been asking for a Wii U-like solution. It's inconvenient when the TV, sometimes the only TV, is occupied. The obvious benefit was the ability to use the console while another person uses the TV the console is connected to for anything else. The execution of this concept just didn't lend itself to being successful or particularly useful. The GamePad's range, both in wireless connectivity and general practicality, was not conducive for what anyone wanted to do with it. Wii U couldn't run Netflix and a video game at the same time. Being tethered to the same building was limiting, but walls and ceilings prevented users from taking the GamePad anywhere in said building. Nintendo wanted to bring people together in the same room even if one person was playing a game except people wanted to do more but couldn't whether by technological limitations or questionable design decisions.

Switch is objectively a better and more user friendly idea than Wii U. Nintendo merely had to sacrifice its preference of selling to two different markets. However, one could argue there's only one market that Nintendo continued to sell two pieces of hardware to well past the point that it was appropriate to do so, and market trends would have eventually forced Nintendo's hand had it not willingly merged its hardware divisions.

Anyway, I'm glad Switch is selling so well. The industry needs Nintendo, and Nintendo seems best when backed against the wall. I wasn't sure the hybrid concept would work, but it does with an asterisk. To me, it's a better console. Underpowered though that hasn't changed my gaming habits. Switch doesn't work that well as a handled because it doesn't fit in my pocket, and I don't normally carry a bag around. I only use handheld mode when I have to (e.g. Splatoon 2 local multiplayer). My hope for the future is that Nvidia can provide Nintendo with great SOCs so ports become an expectation rather than a hope. This is the best it's been in over 20 years so I want to see that trend continue.

Ian SaneJanuary 04, 2018

Quote from: Adrock

Nintendo merely had to sacrifice its preference of selling to two different markets. However, one could argue there's only one market that Nintendo continued to sell two pieces of hardware to well past the point that it was appropriate to do so, and market trends would have eventually forced Nintendo's hand had it not willingly merged its hardware divisions.

I agree on this.  For the casual user just wanting to play Tetris while they ride the subway, cellphones have replaced the traditional handheld market.  For a lot of people phones are good enough for gaming on the go.  There is an enthusiast market for which phones aren't good enough but that has a lot of crossover with console owners so the Switch works pretty well as it requires only one purchase.  I get the size issue but who's to say as the tech becomes cheaper they can't shrink it down in a later model to make a pocket sized version?  Maybe that's why they've continued to support the 3DS so as to wait things out until then.

Mop it upJanuary 04, 2018

This is anecdotal I know, but every single person who's ever played on my own Wii U system never understood the point of the GamePad and didn't like it, for a variety of reasons. Though, as someone who doesn't like it meself, I had trouble coming up with reasons it's worthwhile. Super Mario Maker was the only one I could ever sell anyone on. But I've never sold the system to anyone.

On the other hand, Switch is an easy sell.

RPG_FAN128January 04, 2018

A better product and better business decisions. 


1)  Nintendo invested money in advertisement.  I've never seen a Wii U commercial on TV, EVER.  I see Switch commercials on TV all the time!


2)  Merging everything into a single product.  Games slowly required more money, time, and resources to create.  It was easy to see how stretched Nintendo was to support their own consoles!


3)  Nintendo nets $611 million by selling the Mariners.  I know why Nintendo still had stock in this baseball team, but really WHY!?


I wonder if Nintendo is going to rethink it's view of the whole "quality of life" venture.  What ever happens it seems like Nintendo is capable of making good business decisions at the moment -- which is good.  The video game industry really needs a company like the big 'N.'

AdrockJanuary 04, 2018

Quote from: Ian

I get the size issue but who's to say as the tech becomes cheaper they can't shrink it down in a later model to make a pocket sized version?

I definitely think a Lite Switch is more likely than a Switch Pro. That's a discussion for a different time. I only bought Nintendo handhelds for exclusives, and since I already have a Switch, I wouldn't personally "downgrade" for the sake of portability. The nature of most hybrid devices is that they usually do one thing better than the other. Once docked, the console experience hasn't been compromised.

Quote from: Mop

This is anecdotal I know, but every single person who's ever played on my own Wii U system never understood the point of the GamePad and didn't like it, for a variety of reasons. Though, as someone who doesn't like it meself, I had trouble coming up with reasons it's worthwhile. Super Mario Maker was the only one I could ever sell anyone on. But I've never sold the system to anyone.

That's about right. In fact, by the middle to end of 2015, I was actively talking a friend out of purchasing a Wii U, advising him to wait for NX instead.

The GamePad, and thus Wii U itself, was a hard sell because it lacked a proof of concept. Nintendo could tell people what was appealing about the thing but lacked the content to show it. Wii U had few games to begin with and fewer that gracefully demonstrated its unique qualities. People complained for decades that the TV was being used. Wii U offered a solution, but selling a $300+ console to play a poorly explained mini-game collection and a by-the-numbers 2D Mario game was always going to be an uphill battle. Unlike its predecessor, Wii U didn't have a game as self-explanatory as Wii Sports. Unlike its successor, Wii U's appeal isn't understood just by looking at it. Had Super Mario Maker been a launch title, we may be having a different conversation right now. Had the GamePad been able to do even a fraction of the things we all imagined, we may be having a different conversation right now. That said, I never thought Wii U (or the GamePad) was inherently a bad idea. Rather, it was bad execution. It just seemed as if Nintendo did everything it humanly could to make it the least appealing piece of tech available outside of it giving people cancer.

Linkle LinkJanuary 05, 2018

Wii U: It doesn't cause cancer.

Well, shoot! Now we're talkin'. I'll take ten!

nickmitchJanuary 05, 2018

My brother was so intrigued by the Switch, he purchased and downloaded NBA 2K18 on my Switch, with his money, just to try it out.  He was enamored with how you could play local multiplayer out of the box.  Everything about the system clicked immediately when he saw it.

The Switch is an incredibly easy sell.

Ian SaneJanuary 05, 2018

I always felt the Wii U's "free up the TV" concept was addressing an overly specific problem that:

A. Single people couldn't give two shits about.

B. There are numerous other ways to "solve" without needing a $100 controller.  We live in the PVR age so if the TV is taken up you don't have to miss your show.  We're in the age of cord cutters so less people use the TV to watch TV.  One can always play something like the 3DS if TV usage is hard to come by.  People are giving away TVs every day on Craigslist so getting a second TV for the kids to play Nintendo is pretty easy to do.  And consoles like the PS1 and Gamecube had screens you could get so the ability to free a console from the TV already existed as an optional accessory.

Frankly I always felt that feature came across like those "As Seen on TV" ads where they come up with some convoluted "problem" and then say "not anymore!" and shill a product to solve it.

The Switch can be sold with a 30 second video showing someone playing a game on their TV and then they pull the system out of the dock and go to the park and continue playing.

BlackNMild2k1January 05, 2018

This is excellent news, as the Switch is exactly what i was hoping the Wii U would be from conception.
We've had plenty of threads from back when the Wii U was rumored, and I believe the Switch is very much in line with what we were all speculating that what the Wii U had been revealed to be.

I'm pretty sure most of us were kinda baffled at the controller and it's limitations... even if we were a little intrigued by what Nintendo may have up it's sleeve. Ultimately, it didn't quite work out, as the Wii U was a misguided halfstep to the Switch, with the Switch being the culmination of ideas from the 3DS, Wii, and Wii U into one product that I think every gamer (Nintendo, Sony, MS, PC, etc) could get behind as a primary, secondary or even just a companion product.

I can see this selling like the WiiDS we all predicted 10 years ago. LOL
It's about time Nintendo could finally bring us the technology we've been dreaming up before it was affordable.

Luigi DudeJanuary 05, 2018

I also really helps that Nintendo has been able to release a steady stream of game.  Seriously, comparing the retail published games Nintendo released on the Wii U's first 10 months to the Switch is literally night and day.

Wii U

1st - New Super Mario Bros U, Nintendo Land
2nd - Nothing
3rd - Nothing
4th - Nothing
5th - Lego City Undercover
6th - Nothing
7th - Nothing
8th - Game and Wario
9th - Nothing
10th - Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101


Switch


1st - Breath of the Wild, 1-2 Switch
2nd - Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
3rd - Nothing
4th - Arms
5th - Splatoon 2
6th - Mario/Rabbids
7th - Pokken Deluxe
8th - Fire Emblem Warriors, Mario Odyssey
9th - Nothing
10th - Xenoblade 2


I mean just wow.  There's literally an 8 month gap between NSMB U and Pikmin 3 and between that gap the only 2 games were Lego City Undercover and a Wario Ware spinoff.  That system was just not ready to release in the state it was at all.  The Switch on the other hand has been pumping out something almost every month, with many being pretty major as well.  With the Switch looking to have the full support of Nintendo's entire development teams, this kind of continued support should be the new normal.

AdrockJanuary 06, 2018

Quote from: Ian

I always felt the Wii U's "free up the TV" concept was addressing an overly specific problem that:

A. Single people couldn't give two shits about.

So? There are plenty of couples and more importantly, whole families which have been Nintendo's bread and butter audience for nearly three decades by the time Wii U came out.

Quote:

B. There are numerous other ways to "solve" without needing a $100 controller.

That still doesn't change the fact that the GamePad was a solution to a problem that has persisted longer than Nintendo has sold hardware. You try to hand-wave it away as "overly specific" yet people have complained about this for literally decades. All the things you listed still cost money, sometimes more than a one-time purchase controller that is included with the console making it objectively more convenient for the goal here. And I don't even know why you brought up 3DS because it has its own set of games. If a person wanted to play a home console game, they couldn't if someone was using the TV so 3DS is not solving anything related to this discussion.

At the time, Wii was the most popular console for streaming Netflix. A successor capable of streaming Netflix and a video game simultaneously is a really easy proof of concept to show people. Not saying it would have absolutely led to success, just that it's simpler to explain. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, this was not to be, and therein lied the problem. Putting a screen on a controller opens up endless possibilities, and the GamePad ultimately did like three of them.

EnnerJanuary 06, 2018

On to setting the next record!

ShyGuyJanuary 07, 2018

Quote from: Luigi

I also really helps that Nintendo has been able to release a steady stream of game.  Seriously, comparing the retail published games Nintendo released on the Wii U's first 10 months to the Switch is literally night and day.

Wii U

1st - New Super Mario Bros U, Nintendo Land
2nd - Nothing
3rd - Nothing
4th - Nothing
5th - Lego City Undercover
6th - Nothing
7th - Nothing
8th - Game and Wario
9th - Nothing
10th - Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101


Switch


1st - Breath of the Wild, 1-2 Switch
2nd - Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
3rd - Nothing
4th - Arms
5th - Splatoon 2
6th - Mario/Rabbids
7th - Pokken Deluxe
8th - Fire Emblem Warriors, Mario Odyssey
9th - Nothing
10th - Xenoblade 2


I mean just wow.  There's literally an 8 month gap between NSMB U and Pikmin 3 and between that gap the only 2 games were Lego City Undercover and a Wario Ware spinoff.  That system was just not ready to release in the state it was at all.  The Switch on the other hand has been pumping out something almost every month, with many being pretty major as well.  With the Switch looking to have the full support of Nintendo's entire development teams, this kind of continued support should be the new normal.

That really puts the Wii U first year in perspective. I also remember Alien: Colonial Marines getting canceled, and Rayman getting a big delay. Seems like there was a Sniper game that was canceled early on as well...

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterJanuary 07, 2018

I remember PR since before the gamecube released that talked about there being a stop to droughts. I remember it with the Gamecube, the Wii, and Wii U. This is the first time since then that I have barely been able to keep up with the release schedule.

I didn't even by all of Nintendo's games. I've got little to no interest in Fire Emblem or 1 2 Switch or Arms(despite buying it). Doom, Sonic Mania, LA Noir, and a few indies have been keeping me very happy. Actually thats a lie. Except for Sonic Mania I have put almost zero time in my other games that are not Mario, Zelda or Pokken. Pokken Tournament DX just swept me off of my feet and I have to pry myself off of it to play my other games. Not that they are boring, I'm just in this competitive phase where I have to get better at Pokken.

GoldenPhoenixJanuary 08, 2018

For myself I liked the Wii U's gamepad due to it being able to be used as a secondary screen which is a favorite feature of mine with the DS, in fact I still miss that feature since when used properly it provided a quick way to reference inventory and/or the map. Still at the end of the day the Switch is better put together and is deserving of the high sales.

Ian SaneJanuary 08, 2018

One thing that's great about the Switch's lineup thus far is that it's strong enough that if there's a drought that it can probably carry the system through it.  There are some legit killer apps in there with Mario and Zelda alone.  Nintendo's less successful consoles tend to start with a drought and you're usually still waiting for the system seller stuff to show up.

Like with the Wii U that release schedule is pathetic to begin with but in those first nine months the best game is a 2D Mario platformer.  Who the hell is going to buy a system for that?  Even if the Switch had a similar drought it's launch title was Breath of the Wild.  THAT'S a killer app.  The Wii U's first ten months are like as bad as you could do while the Switch is the opposite.  If Nintendo had NSMB style titles released with the frequency of the Switch's schedule that would probably work quite well.  If they had a bare schedule but launched with Breath of the Wild then it would probably work.  They did BOTH!  I never for a second believed they were capable of delivering this flawlessly.  They finally got their act together!

Luigi DudeJanuary 08, 2018

Quote from: Ian

Like with the Wii U that release schedule is pathetic to begin with but in those first nine months the best game is a 2D Mario platformer.  Who the hell is going to buy a system for that?  Even if the Switch had a similar drought it's launch title was Breath of the Wild.  THAT'S a killer app.  The Wii U's first ten months are like as bad as you could do while the Switch is the opposite.  If Nintendo had NSMB style titles released with the frequency of the Switch's schedule that would probably work quite well.  If they had a bare schedule but launched with Breath of the Wild then it would probably work.  They did BOTH!  I never for a second believed they were capable of delivering this flawlessly.  They finally got their act together!

It also didn't help they released NSMB 2 for the much cheaper 3DS just 3 months earlier.  Nintendo themselves literally removed the biggest reason for anyone to own a Wii U it's first year by releasing a cheaper alternative to its flagship title.  Now the hardcore Mario fans knew that NSMB U was the much superior game but the average consumer isn't looking up online forums to see which new 2D Mario has the better level design and content.  They just see a new 2D Mario on store shelves and one of them was $40 on a system that cost less then $200, while the other is $60 on a system that cost over $300.

This will be what really helps the Switch I feel keep it's sales higher in the long run then even the Wii.  Not only will Nintendo be able to maintain a steady release schedule like they have but we won't have inferior handheld versions of games slowing things down anymore.  Just one version of a certain game needs to be made now and then the teams can go on to something different.  We already saw this with Arms since the Mario Kart team didn't need to make a new game for a new dedicated handheld and Nintendo could kind of get away with releasing an enhanced Mario Kart 8 on the Switch since the Wii U was a flop, so they got to work on a new IP instead.  We also saw that with Splatoon since the Animal Crossing team didn't make a game for the Wii U since Nintendo knew the system was dead so we got a new IP from them instead that ended up being a huge surprise even to Nintendo.

So I wouldn't be surprised to see more new IP's in the coming years from the major teams between installments of more popular franchises since they don't have to worry about released a handheld or home console version of the game they just made anymore.  Or in the case of NSMB 2 which was made by a new team, they could have worked on something completely different that would have been a better showing of their skills instead of rushing out on inferior 2D Mario which only hurt the much superior 2D Mario that came out a few months later.  Either way, both solutions should help give the Switch one of the most diverse libraries we've ever seen from Nintendo developers on one system.

Mop it upJanuary 08, 2018

Quote from: Luigi

Wii U
1st - New Super Mario Bros U, Nintendo Land
2nd - Nothing
3rd - Nothing
4th - Nothing
5th - Lego City Undercover
6th - Nothing
7th - Nothing
8th - Game and Wario
9th - Nothing
10th - Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101

You forgot Nintendo's best games for the Wii U during that time, SiNG Party, Ninja Gaiden 3, and Wii Sports Club. It's pretty clear you're biased against the Wii U and trying to make it look bad.

AdrockJanuary 08, 2018

Launch Switch with Breath of the Wild and like nothing else for the next eight to nine months, and it would have crashed and burned. We tend to aggrandize killer apps even when we’ve seen the limits of their appeal. Nintendo 64 launched with Super Mario 64, arguably the most influential 3D platformer of all time. It helped, just like Ocarina of Time helped, but a big seller here and there just isn’t enough. Switch is doing as well as it is because everything about the console is good-enough-for-now (looking at you, Nintendo Switch Online) to amazing, notably its gimmick is easy to grasp, and it had a steady roll out of good to great games. Take away the consistent releases and we may have seen 3DS’s first year again. Not beyond saving, but Nintendo would be in a tough spot. Replace Breath of the Wild and Odyssey with paint-by-number sequels and leave the rest of the lineup the same, Switch probably still sells pretty well.

Launch Wii U with Breath of the Wild and Nintendo Land then like nothing else for eight months, and it would still crash and burn because everything else about the console was mediocre to bad at launch. It didn’t do one thing excellently. Like I said in a previous post, “selling a $300+ console to play a poorly explained mini-game collection and a by-the-numbers 2D Mario game was always going to be an uphill battle.” That doesn’t change with a single killer app. It’d still be an uphill battle, just slightly less steep. The point is to avoid an uphill battle to begin with. With Switch, Nintendo finally did that.

Mop it upJanuary 11, 2018

It's funny to think of how the failure of the Wii U is one of the keys to success with Switch. Just look at all the completed Wii U games the Switch is able to pilfer thanks to no one playing them the first time.

BlackNMild2k1January 11, 2018

Quote from: Mop

It's funny to think of how the failure of the Wii U is one of the keys to success with Switch. Just look at all the completed Wii U games the Switch is able to pilfer thanks to no one playing them the first time.

LOL. Good thing they were already playing with those HD assets... future proofing themselves. Bet they didn't think it would work out like this... but one generations trash (once polished up) becomes the next generations treasure.

Linkle LinkJanuary 20, 2018

Quote from: Mop

It's funny to think of how the failure of the Wii U is one of the keys to success with Switch. Just look at all the completed Wii U games the Switch is able to pilfer thanks to no one playing them the first time.

I hate it! It's completely ruining the future value of my Wii U if all it's games are getting ported over to the Switch. You think someone is going to buy it now for New Super Mario Bros. U and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival? Because they sure didn't buy one when they first had a chance to do so and play these games.

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