Nintendo Switch Ships 2.74M Units, Zelda Rises To 3.84M Shipped

The console is off to a hot start, it seems.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Today as part of Nintendo's latest earnings report for the fiscal year ended March 31, Nintendo provided the first worldwide shipment update for the Nintendo Switch. The console has shipped 2.74 million units around the world since launch in March, while it has shipped 5.46 million games.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has now sold 3.84 million units worldwide, including 2.76 million units Switch and 1.08 million on Wii U. Nintendo also called out 1-2 Switch, though all it said was that the game is "generating buzz"; no sales numbers were provided.

Nintendo thinks the good times will keep rolling for the Switch, predicting to ship 10 million more units of hardware in the current fiscal year and 35 million games over the same period of time.

On the portable front, 3DS game sales were strong, Nintendo said, specifically calling out Pokemon Sun and Moon, which have now combined to sell 15.44 million units. Super Mario Maker for 3DS is now up to 2.34 million units, while Kirby: Planet Robobot has risen to 1.36 million. In all, Nintendo sold 55.08 million 3DS games during the fiscal year.

3DS hardware sales amounted to 7.27 million units for the period, up 7 percent year-over-year. Nintendo has now sold around 66 million 3DS units worldwide, making it something of a juggernaut that Nintendo said it sees as "a platform that we can rely on for software sales."

For Wii U, the system sold 760,000 units during the fiscal year, down 77 percent year-over-year. A dramatic sales decrease was of course expected, given the launch of the Switch. Nintendo sold 14.8 million Wii U games during the period, down 46 percent compared to last year.

For the past three months alone, the Wii U units. This from Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad:

Some other notes from Nintendo's earnings report is that Amiibo sales were described as "limited," coming in at 9.1 million figure units and 9.3 million card-types. Another tough spot for Nintendo was in the area of DLC. "There were relatively fewer offerings of downloadable content during this period, so digital sales were also down to a large extent on the same period last year," Nintendo said.

Additionally, Pokemon Go had a pretty significant impact on Nintendo's bottom line, it seems.

In terms of financials, Nintendo's net sales for the period amounted to ¥489 billion yen, down 3 percent compared to last year. Profit was ¥102 billion yen, which is up 521.5 percent, though this includes the hundreds of millions that Nintendo made from its sale of the Seattle Mariners.

You can read the full Nintendo earnings report here.

Capcom also reported earnings for its latest fiscal year today--here's a breakdown of the key takeaways.

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Avatar image for firedrakes

wow a console selling no units for 3 months

Avatar image for janejp

Switch ship 2.74 M But Zelda on Switch sold 2.76 M that more than it's hardware.

How can this be?

Avatar image for LethalBurst

@janejp: Because people, like myself, bought the Zelda game in anticipation of getting a Switch to play it on. The Zelda game is widely available, while the Switch console is very hard to find.

Avatar image for janejp

Congrats Nin , It's good start for Switch but not better than other in this gen.

PS4-4.2 M at 48 days after lunched.

X1- 3.0 M at 39 days

Switch -2.7 M at 28 days

However , game consoles sold well make me fell good at all.

Avatar image for slypher9

@janejp: if it keeps its pace... it will outsell the ps4 by day 48

Avatar image for xybuttons

Zelda and Switch are killin' it! I just posted my "Under 2 Review" of Zelda BOTW!

This is going to be a great run or Switch. I'm stoked!

Avatar image for riasgremory5

keep it up nintendo and cant wait to play mario kart 8 deluxe tomorrow.

Avatar image for pork7

Wonder how many millions they lost on the Seattle Mariners debacle. Deceptive reporting makes it seem like profits are going great, when in fact they lost a ton on the Mariners. The SEC filings don't lie.

Good gosh, they need to clearance the Wii U for about 40 bucks to clear out their warehouses.

Avatar image for doctor_mg


They sold the Mariners for 580 million. I don't really see how that would be considered a loss for this fiscal year.

Avatar image for StryderK

@doctor_mg: Yep! The sale of the Mariners has NOTHING to do with them buying them in the first place, which occurred way back some 15 years ago! That is a sunk cost that was paid long time ago and for accounting purposes, is a write off that should not be on the books. So the 580 million they got from the Mariners is simply pure profit minus the expense associated with selling the team only!

Avatar image for doctor_mg


Not to mention that they purchased the Mariners 15 years ago for only 100 million dollars. So even if the acquisition did all happen this year it STILL would have been profit.

Avatar image for StryderK

@doctor_mg: Nods! Not to mention if that guy who decided to go el stupido and keep on drumming up the Mariner sales that cost a lot of money....Ok, fine, in the intervening 15 years of so, plus ticket sales, plus merchandise sales, plus tv rights plus all sort of stuff, just how much PROFIT Nintendo made in those 15 years ALONE from the Mariners? I would say a few billions here and there.......As a certain song sang by Adam Sandler once said, "Not too shabby!"

Avatar image for Redsyrup

Artificial demand is not a sustainable business practice unless your Nintendo. Not really pleased with NoJ and NoA's choices lately. I don't like the form factor of the Switch or its performance compared to PS4 Pro and soon Xbox Scorpio. Not thrilled with BotW being the antithesis of traditional Zelda but somehow earning the title 'Zelda'. Discontinuing the NES Classic for no good reason. Nintendo fanboys are ruining Nintendo by not holding the company accountable.

Avatar image for beantownsean

With Nintendo keeping the price of the Wii U the same as the Switch, they are clearly working to kill it.

They might as well just raise the price of the Wii U to further ensure its demise.

Avatar image for Ovirew

Personally I'm happy with the Switch. I think spacing out game releases will help a lot, and I think there's a lot of opportunity for Nintendo to strengthen their hold if they choose to.

Doing away with the 3DS after this year will be important. If Nintendo wants to really support the Switch in ways they could only dream of supporting game systems in the past, then they need to make 2017 the 3DS's final year so they can develop solely for the Switch - as well as the cash-grab mobile market. Finding ways to officially support battery life improvements for the Switch is also something Nintendo could capitalize on. And giving attention to the (soon to be paid) online service and virtual console of the Switch will become important for filling the gaps and adding more long-term value to the system.

Despite what the naysayers may think, what we know is that the Nintendo brand is as strong as ever. A novel idea, a bit of nostalgia, or a massive adventure can make Nintendo money.

Avatar image for lonewolf1044

Nothing against Nintendo Switch but I see no need to buy one right now even if it came with Zelda's new game. I do not care for the other games it offers because some of them are just repeats of older games. I would expect the Switch to do well initially until it saturates the market and the newness wears out eventually. The controllers are a bit uncomfortable unless you use the Pro controller but you have to pay a hefty price for that and talk is abound how flimsy the controllers are. For me it is not worth $399 and will wait patiently until it is $199 or cheaper being I have what I need to keep me busy until that happens.

Avatar image for Redsyrup

@lonewolf1044: Totally agree. Mario in Manhattan isn't appealing to me either. I'd rather Mario stick to a complete fantasy setting. Mario hailing a cab is the exact opposite of what I want.

Avatar image for nintendians

things are look up for nintendo, but for how long it'll go.

Avatar image for WhoIsTheDrizzle

Once Breath of the Wild loses its steam, we'll see how it does then. Hoping sales numbers will stay steady but they'll need more than a weak splatoon 2 and a remaster mario kart through the summer.

Avatar image for shamatuu257

Not going to last

Avatar image for jesterofbass

Impressive numbers when you consider how many more they would've sold if they kept the damn thing in stock, ever. lol

I managed to snag one cause I preordered back in January.

Avatar image for Arachnofunk

Pretty good launch, hope they keep the momentum for a long time

Avatar image for dragonsama

The real test for this is when they hit 5 Million units sold. That will be the Critical mass to see if the Switch has any real legs to it.

Avatar image for inkman66

"Nintendo also called out 1-2 Switch, though all it said was that the game is "generating buzz"; no sales numbers were provided."

Nintendo is so full of BS they should be in politics.

Avatar image for noshotskill

I think Nintendo is realizing they can print money as the millennials are now the dominating consumer and they will continue supporting things from their childhoods.

The Zelda numbers are pretty insane. I could see BotW becomming the best selling Zelda game to date.

Avatar image for romeothebeast

@noshotskill: If that was true then the Wii U would have been a success. 13.56 Million Wii U's sold is a huge fail for Nintendo. I think if anything the portability of the Switch is why it is selling so well and of course Zelda. Not because millennials blindly support Nintendo.

Avatar image for noshotskill

@romeothebeast: I'm referring to Nintendo capitalizing on marketing towards the millennials. They are advertising on platforms where the 20-40 year old consumer go, they are using what works, and showing off the benefits on mobile gaming.

Avatar image for Mo_mann

Really hoping this takes off, I'm enjoying every minute of my Switch so far.

Avatar image for onionking108

Glad to hear, more Switch success means more and better games in the future. Looking forward to digging into Mariokart 8 again.

Avatar image for stage4saiyan


Avatar image for videogameninja


-"This is good... isn't it?"-


Avatar image for atopp399

Well they have sold pretty much every console they've produced so clearly they are happy with the results.

Avatar image for wow2

@atopp399: i'm still holding off, but once Splatoon 2 and Mario come out. I will have it. Hopefully easier to find by then.

Avatar image for StryderK

@wow2: Probably not....Mario comes out around. TAH TA!!!! Christmas time, if you think demand is insane now, wait until you see it then! Trust me, the only place that get a lot of them right now is Target because of that MK 8: D promotion thing, but even then, they could only hold them for 5 hours or so before they are all gone! If I were you, I would get one ASAP as you see one! I doubt you will get it by Christmas! Once Black Fri. rolls around....

Avatar image for spartanx169x

haters are gonna hate. But the Switch is off to a strong start. If this can keep up they can get third party developers on board.

Avatar image for inkman66

@spartanx169x I dont know...... if I were a third party developer would I really want to dumb down a new game just to be able to play on the limited power of the Switch or would I create the best game I could using the power of the PS4 or Xbone and release on those TWO systems that has many times the market share as the Switch ?

Avatar image for NeoCloudZero

@inkman66: To be very honest, by your logic if I was a third party developer then I would just keep the game on PC and Ignore ps4 and Xbox one as they also cannot handle games like how a PC can. I would rather develop deep and engaging games for a system then focus on visual if I was a game developer. As a software developer I can tell you how ridiculous the cost of producing softwares are, considering graphics are often the more costly section of the game I would rather making something fun instead of realistic. The more you spend on a game the less revenue you will produce, although it's true that high quality graphics games tends to be more appealing in advertisement. However I would think if a game with amazing graphic can still flop hard with bad gameplay. It's high risk low reward in my eyes. So the point of New games having to dumb down for the switch does not seem valid imo. Especially because it also applies to ps4 and Xbox one, as developers dumbs down a game for the consoles as their specs does not even come close comparing to a PC.

Avatar image for spartanx169x

@inkman66: depends on what you mean by dumbing down the game. Setting the visuals to the lowest settings should take much effort on the part of the developer. The biggest draw back or hindrance is the ridiculously small hard drive. I'm not a programmer so I'm not sure what makes up the big sizes that games now have.From what I have read , I do know part of it is the large audio files. So they could be dialed back some. they don't need to be 128 bit clarity to sound good. If they need to remove a mission or two thats not all bad either. Almost every game I've ever played has had missions that could be removed and not be missed. Once the developers engines are programmed to make Switch games, the following games should not be hard to modify for the platform.

Avatar image for NeoCloudZero

@spartanx169x: assets like model and sound files often takes up plenty of space but usually the size of the game can be lower if the codes written is optimize properly. If the switch will get dumb down visual versions then it'll be smaller in size as there is probably no need to use some of the asset that was meant for example 4k.

Avatar image for StryderK

@NeoCloudZero: Game files don't need that large. For ex. Witcher 3: Complete Edition is around 50GB...That may sound bad but around 10GB of that is nothing but stupid extra info that allows the game to install it on the HDD due to the stupid fact Blu-Ray read speed is stupid slow! And then you got all sort of checks to see if the disc is in the system and allow the HDD to sync with the disc etc etc etc! With the Switch, you can instantly cut all of these junk out since cart read speeds are SSSSSOOooooOOOO much faster it isn't even funny! Also, a lot of coding are also used to help toss things into the RAM faster and read faster etc. Again, you don't need that with the Switch because again, cart read speed are so much faster. Stuff like background music etc can be streamed directly from the cart. If they do that and uses a good compression program, and shave another 8GB off, then the Witcher 3: CE for ex can easily fit onto a 32GB cart!

Avatar image for NeoCloudZero

@StryderK: I know right, you got a good point. Good compression is also a big one, but as for the Blu-ray speed requiring installation. That's a hardware's downfall for ps4 and Xbox, it's something that cannot be avoided. I mean they could've used sd cards for ps4 but they designed it that way so it couldn't be helped. As for the instant stream of the music you are correct about that but it doesn't necessarily have much room for lowering required space. I totally agree that they can pretty much fit mostly any modern game available for consoles within their cartridge, I think they were pretty smart about when they decided to go back to cartridges too. The only downside to cartridge is that pirating is a lot easier that hacking a PS4 and plugging a external HDD on it.

Avatar image for spartanx169x

@NeoCloudZero: I suspected that , but wasn't sure. Thanks.

Avatar image for maximimon

@inkman66: By your logic both The OG Xbox and Gamecube would have slaughtered the PS2 , which they did right?oh wait ...., man we also saw a bloodbath with the Vita murdering the 3ds in sales .... oh wait .. , yup developers always go for power over userbase right? Right?

Avatar image for lionheartssj1

Didn't they stop production of the Wii U a long time ago? Why would we expect any sales?

I know for a fact the used Wii Us have been moving b/c of Breath of the Wild though. Not that that really helps them, but it does sell more copies of BotW.

Avatar image for videogameninja

BOTW (Switch version.) has shipped/sold more copies than Switch’s available?

That’s insane (much like you, Ninja.).


Avatar image for spartanx169x

@videogameninja: Shipped does not mean sold thru to the public. It means that at least that many have been sent to stores. So Nintendo will get the profit barring any deals to return unsold copies which this early on is highly unlikely. what it also shows is big demand. BOTW could easily sell 5 to 6 million copies thru to the public at the current pace.

Avatar image for MegamanX97

@spartanx169x: "The console has shipped 2.74 million units around the world since launch in March, while it has shipped 5.46 million games.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has now sold 3.84 million units worldwide, including 2.76 million units Switch and 1.08 million on Wii U."

I understand what Ninja means. Nintendo has confirmed 2.74 million Switch units shipped, but have confirmed 2.76 million BOTW for Nintendo Switch have sold.

I guess people are buying the game and now hoping to get their hands on a Nintendo Switch.

Avatar image for airdrigh

@MegamanX97: Or they are buying a copy to keep sealed for collecting purposes, lost the cartridge, damaged it in some way etc. It seems like a lot when they put it in millions, but its only a difference of about 20k, which isn't really that many units. I know a few people that bought the limited edition with the master sword and then bought an extra copy of the game so they could keep their special version all nice and unopened.

Avatar image for MegamanX97

@airdrigh: Right right! I forgot about the collectors editions that had sold.

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