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Switch is biggest console launch in Nintendo’s history, ‘Zelda’ sales even better

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Mike Epstein/Digital Trends
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The Nintendo Switch continues to break sales records, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild has achieved an unusual feat.

After the commercial failure of the Wii U, it appears that Nintendo is back in a very big way — the Nintendo Switch had the biggest launch of any console in the company’s history, and early sales numbers for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are just as impressive.

In just March, which Nintendo notes as “a nontraditional month for a console launch,” the Nintendo Switch sold more than 906,000 units in the United States alone. The console has done remarkably well worldwide, as well, with 1.5 million consoles sold in just its first two weeks on the market. At the time, research data suggested that about a third of those sales were in the United States, and if those sales trends continued in the following weeks, the worldwide sales number is likely much higher than 1.5 million at this point.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sold 1.3 million copies in the United States during the month of March, of which 925,000 were for the Nintendo Switch — that’s 19,000 more units than actual Switch consoles sold during that time, which Nintendo attributes to dedicated collectors who wish to keep one copy of the game, likely a limited edition, sealed in the box.

If Nintendo’s supply of Switch systems could keep up with prospective buyers’ demands, these sales figures would likely be even higher. The company recently announced plans to double production, with an additional 8 million Switch systems being manufactured by April 2018. Nintendo estimates that it could sell up to 10 million consoles during that span, which would put the system’s lifetime sales close to that of the Wii U, which has been on store shelves since late 2012.

Though the early software lineup for the Switch has been light aside from Breath of the Wild, a number of games will be available within the next few months. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe arrives later this month, and both Arms and Splatoon 2 hit the console this summer.