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The Strange Thing About The Sales For Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Sales
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The NPD Group released some group estimates and hard figures for the physical retail sales for home consoles throughout March of 2017, and oh boy was it a doozy. The big surprise was the Nintendo Switch sales, and the even bigger surprise was Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's sales.

According to a press release issued by Nintendo following up on the release of the NPD numbers, the Big 'N' revealed that the Nintendo Switch moved 906,000 stock keeping units in North America throughout the month of March starting on March 3rd up until the 31st. But that's not the strange part... the strange part deals with the sales of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The game moved a total of 1.3 million units both at retail and via digital distribution. Out of those 1.3 million, 460,000 units were sold for the Wii U home console. That's not too impressive for the Wii U, but that means that the remaining 925,000 units were moved for the Nintendo Switch.

Keep in mind these are all figures for North America. So if we do the math, only 906,000 Switch units were sold in America while 925,000 units of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were sold in America. That means that the game does not have a 1:1, 100% software attachment rate it means that it has more than a 102% software attachment rate to the system.

This is a historical anomaly because I've never heard of a first-party game selling more units on a platform than the platform itself.

Nintendo chalks this up to people who purchased two different renditions of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a normal version to play, and a limited collector's edition as memorabilia.

If you check some of the comment sections for places like, there are some people who have a slightly different tale to tell. Some of them who pre-ordered from places like Wal-Mart are saying that when they purchased bundled packs for the Nintendo Switch they would receive the accessories and the game -- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild -- but the system didn't always arrive because the retailer would fulfill in-store pick-ups over those who pre-ordered the system or ordered the bundle from online.

So in those cases, some people have had their games paid for and they arrived on time but the system was on a delay.

Also, since the Nintendo Switch is region free some people have commented that they purchased a Nintendo Switch from Japan or Europe since stock supplies in the U.S., have been short, and then they bought The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild from a local retailer or from Amazon. In this case, the NPD chart would not count the purchase of an imported Nintendo Switch toward the total of the U.S., figures, but they would count Breath of the Wild toward that figure.

So there appears to be a number of factors contributing to Legend of Zelda having a higher attach rate to the Switch than actual Switch consoles being available in America.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.