The Nintendo Switch is now the fastest-selling games console of all time in the United States. In the 10 months since the Switch was launched on March 3, 2017, Nintendo has sold 4.8 million units in the U.S. alone. That’s 800,000 more units than the Wii managed in the same timeframe.
The aforementioned Wii is the previous record-holder, so the latest Nintendo console has beaten the last-but-one Nintendo console into second place. Which tells us that a) Nintendo fans don’t waste any time, and b) if it can beat the Wii for sales the Switch must be doing well.
Wii Came, Wii U Saw, Switch Conquered
Nintendo has had a tough few years. The Wii did extremely well thanks to its innovative motion controls. Then came the Wii U, which failed spectacularly. In October 2016, Nintendo unveiled the Switch, and reactions were positive. It was released in March 2017, and exceeded expectations.
Now, 10 months on, and with the holidays behind us, Nintendo has announced that the Switch is the fastest-selling home games console of all time in the U.S. The original Wii sold 4 million units in 10 months, but the Switch has achieved an incredible 4.8 million to blow it out of the water.
IT HAS NO COMPETITION
The Nintendo Switch is neither just a handheld nor just a home console. It’s both — and it’s the flagship system for Nintendo’s biggest games. There isn’t another piece of hardware on the market like it, which means it has no substantial competition. And Nintendo itself has data that shows players are enjoying the Switch in both configurations.
If you’re in the market for something that you can hook up to your television to play on the big screen before taking the same hardware and games on a flight across the country, you don’t have a lot of other options out there.
Not only does the Switch not have much competition, it’s not likely to get any in the near future. Neither Sony nor Microsoft has much appetite for portable gaming devices, and the Switch is already selling better in its first year than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One did in theirs. Nintendo is likely to keep this very lucrative market completely to itself.
IT HAD THE BEST GAMES OF 2017
The term “best” is, of course, going to be subjective, but Nintendo was basically in competition with itself for game of the year in 2017. Not only are The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario two of the biggest names in gaming, but Nintendo also released a new game in each series during the Switch’s first year. Each one set a new standard for Nintendo games’ already high bar for success.
If you want to play two of the best games of 2017 (and likely even 2018, for those who still don’t have a Switch), you need to buy Nintendo’s new system. Games sell hardware, and no one knows that better than Nintendo. It might be hard for any other company to sell hardware based on the strength of two games, but Nintendo isn’t any other company, and those aren’t just any two games.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
The Nintendo Switch sold for $299.99 at launch, lower then the PlayStation 4’s $399.99 launch price and certainly lower than the $499.99 launch price of the Xbox One. It can be played at home or on the go, adding value to the already appealing price point.
It’s not exactly an impulse buy at that price, but the Switch is priced well enough that people feel comfortable picking it up as a second system, or even as their first new console in a long time. I have many friends who are PC fans that picked up the Switch after taking long breaks away from consoles.
Price isn’t everything, but a lower price is better. And the Switch seems to be priced just about perfectly for many buyers.
IT’S EASY TO JUSTIFY IF YOU HAVE KIDS
Systems that come with their own screens are life savers if you have a large family or often fight over the television. The Switch is also yet another Nintendo system that looks and feels like a toy … and I mean that in a positive sense.
Parents feel safe letting even younger kids play with the Switch, and the system’s biggest games appeal to just about every demographic that exists. Nintendo doesn’t just make games that are universally enjoyable, but it also builds in easier modes so that kids and parents can play together and have fun, from the co-op mode of Super Mario Odyssey to the racing assists available in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
The Switch has games parents want to play and feel comfortable letting kids play, and those that kids want to play and double as a fun distraction on long car rides. Plenty of parents use these as excuses to get a toy they want to play with, and I don’t blame them. Nintendo has mastered the art of making hardware and games that work with your family.
IT’S A SOCIAL SYSTEM
Name another gaming console that’s both a portable and a console and also comes with two controllers out of the box. You can play your favorite multiplayer games just about anywhere you’d like with the Switch, and breaking off a Joy-Con to hand to a friend or family member during a gathering still feels like a magic trick.
From Mario Kart to Overcooked and Crawl, Nintendo Switch is home to some of the best local multiplayer games on the market, and you can set up your system wherever you’d like to play with friends and family. The Switch doesn’t need a television, nor do you need to worry about packing an extra controller for many of these games. It’s a design that was easy to doubt at launch … until we all tried those use cases Nintendo advertised and found them to be fun and workable.
It’s All About the Games
Nintendo spent most of the press release focusing on the games, which isn’t surprising given the criticism Nintendo has received due to the lack of must-play games on previous consoles. It seems the Switch doesn’t have that problem though, thanks to a mix of first- and third-party titles.
According to Nintendo, more than 60 percent of Switch owners have bought Super Mario Odyssey, while more than 55 percent own The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 also have high attach rates, at 50 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s President, said, “Fans across the country have experienced the joy of playing their favorite games at home or on the go. Now that many more people have received Nintendo Switch systems for the holidays, we look forward to bringing them fun new surprises in 2018 and beyond.”
Is This the Perfect Nintendo Console?
The Switch is the perfect Nintendo console. It can be played at home or on the go, is powerful enough to support some solid ports, and is made for the type of fun, cartoonish games Nintendois famous for. All we need now is a price cut so that more of us will be able to buy a Switch.
Have you bought a Switch yet? If so, what do you think of it? And what games do you own? If you haven’t yet bought a Switch, what’s holding you back? Does it simply not interest you? Or are you waiting until Nintendo drops the price? Please let us know in the comments below!