The Switch has lapped the Wii U, Nintendo confirms

‘Super Mario Odyssey’ was the most successful of ten January 13 trailers supporting the Nintendo Switch. — Picture courtesy of Nintendo Europe
‘Super Mario Odyssey’ was the most successful of ten January 13 trailers supporting the Nintendo Switch. — Picture courtesy of Nintendo Europe

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 1 — Nintendo’s latest console, the Switch, has overtaken its predecessor in unit sales after nine months of availability.

The Nintendo Switch sold 14.86 million units worldwide between its March 2017 launch and the end of the year, Nintendo has confirmed as part of a quarterly financial report.

The figure means that the Switch has done in nine months what the Wii U did in five years, a reversal in fortunes for Nintendo.

Following up on the stratospheric success of the Wii was a difficult challenge and 2012’s Wii U was not up to the task, despite a roster of games that included the immensely well-received Super Mario 3D World, Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon 2.

In comparison, the Switch has got off to a roaring start, surpassing the 13.56m Wii U’s sold over a five-year lifespan.

Is it a testament to the Switch’s prowess or a commentary on the Wii U’s troubles?

Right now, there’s space for both interpretations to hold.

The Switch isn’t yet comparable to the Wii, for example, which rocketed to around 30 million sales in its first nine months of availability.

But those figures are a warning shot to the Xbox One and even the PlayStation 4.

Microsoft stopped reporting Xbox One sales after a year on the market, when it became apparent that the PlayStation 4 was pulling away with increasing momentum.

Both machines had launched in November 2013, and Microsoft spoke of having shipped 10 million consoles to retailers some 12 months later; the PlayStation 4 celebrated its own birthday by hitting 14.4m sales.

By now, Sony’s PS4 has accumulated more than 73.6 million sales, and both PlayStation and Xbox have issued more powerful iterations of their flagships as well as more budget-friendly base models.

In contrast to its immediate predecessor, the Switch had a strong games lineup from the beginning and, by embracing a fully portable format, the hybrid console allowed for untethered play with full big screen compatibility.

Super Mario Odyssey has become the Switch’s best-selling title, racking up 9.07m sales since an October debut, Nintendo detailed.

That’s even more than launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which ended the year on 6.7m sales.

Other hits with the Switch-playing public included a pair of Wii U follow-ups, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (7.33m, 1.1m short of the Wii U version’s tally) and Splatoon 2 (4.91m, tied with Splatoon). — AFP-Relaxnews

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