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It doesn't matter if you have the best games on any console, if your console doesn't sell then it's dead in the water. Nintendo learned this firsthand with the Wii U, which had some great first-party titles but ended up flopping super hard on the market. Well, the Nintendo Switch is moving in the complete opposite direction, and is actually the fastest selling console of the generation within the U.S.
According to a press release issued by Nintendo, the Switch has become the fastest-selling video game system of the hardware generation over the course of just 21 months. This is according to tracking data from the NPD Group, which monitors sales and trends in the consumer market within the U.S.
The data cites an 8.7 million sell-through figure for the Switch between March, 2017 and November, 2018 in the United States alone. The console has reportedly out-paced sales of every other current generation home console currently available on the market, which includes the PlayStation 4, the PS4 Pro, the Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X.
But it's not just in America where the Switch is selling like hot cakes. The console is also moving a lot of product very quickly over in Japan and Asia as well. According to Nintendo Everything, the Nintendo Switch has surpassed the entire lifetime sales of the PS Vita in Japan, managing to total 6 million SKUs sold-through to the Japanese market. This means that the sales in Japan and the sales in the U.S. are very close, separated by just a gap of 2 million SKUs.
This puts it on pace to catch up to and surpass the Xbox One's total install base if the Switch can maintain its current momentum on the market. The console was supposedly facing an uphill struggle this holiday season, as Nintendo would have to move 10 million units throughout the holidays and up through the new year to reach the fiscal 2019 forecasts. As it stands, it very well could be on its way to doing so, due in large part to Nintendo's strategic software efforts to pump out high-quality AAA titles for the Switch during key moments.
In this case, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate helped bolster hardware sales by a significant margin, while the game itself managed to move 3 million units over an 11 day period in the United States alone. So, not only is the hardware selling quickly, but the software is selling at a rapid clip as well. We saw similar figures for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which moved several million units coming out of the starting gate as a launch title for the Switch back in March of 2017. Nintendo also saw a huge surge with the release of Super Mario Odyssey that holiday season when the game dropped in October.
I imagine Nintendo is very happy with the current market performance of the Switch.