With more than 4.8 million units sold in the United States since its March debut, Nintendo says the Switch is the fastest-selling home game console ever in the U.S. The findings are based on Nintendo’s internal sales figures.
The company says it sold more units of its newest console during its first 10 months of availability in the United States than any other video game system in the country to date, including the Wii, of which it sold 4 million units during the same timeframe. That doesn’t mean the Switch is the fastest-selling console period, however. For example, PlayStation 4 sales surpassed 5.3 million units worldwide as of early February 2014 even though the console launched less than three months earlier in November 2013. Nintendo is specifically claiming to be the quickest-selling home gaming system in the U.S.
Regardless, it serves as further evidence that the Switch is a much-needed hit for Nintendo after the Wii U, which was the company’s least popular console by far, only selling 13.5 million units over its lifetime. Last April, just a month after the Switch launched, Nintendo revealed that it became the fast-selling console in the company’s history. Nintendo initially struggled to keep up with demand as the console grew increasingly popular, with fans in Japan even lining up to participate in lottery events for a chance to buy the console over the summer.
Moving forward, Nintendo will face the challenge of attracting new fans as the excitement around highly-anticipated releases like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild begins to fade. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé believes that the first-party games arriving next year, which include new Kirby and Yoshi titles, as well as upcoming third-party games will help Nintendo expand to new audiences. But the company is still just as focused on Nintendo’s core audience: “We have a long way to go to satiate the Nintendo fan,” Fils-Aimé said in an interview with TIME.
Nintendo’s handheld console line, the 3DS family, could also play a surprisingly important role in recruiting new Nintendo enthusiasts. Nintendo sees its legacy handheld systems as an opportunity to introduce new gamers to its franchises. It’s a tactic that consumer tech firms like Apple have also mastered: If a company can get a customer hooked into their software ecosystem, that customer is likely to keep coming back for more. “We believe that the platform will continue to be a great way for parents and young kids to engage in their very first Nintendo experience,” says Fils-Aimé. “We believe as we have a successful business with young consumers, that it bodes well for Nintendo Switch.”
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