The Nintendo Switch Enjoys a Strong Opening Weekend

The Nintendo Switch Enjoys a Strong Opening Weekend

The Switch's pre-order numbers were already good, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sopped up the rest of the hype.

The Nintendo Switch's first big weekend has come and gone (read about how my weary old bones held up through yet another midnight console launch), and I expect most of us are still trying to shake off our Zelda: Breath of the Wild hangover. It's kind of hard to settle back into the mundanities of life after you spend three days in the company of heroes, princesses, and wild horses, however.

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On the topic of mundanities and business, we're all eager to see if the Switch winds up producing some of that good gaming cheddar for Nintendo. It'll be some time before we have enough solid sales data to go on, but at least we can confirm GameStop is very pleased with how the first batch of Switches sold across the United States.

"We even had customers lining up as early as this morning [Thursday, March 2] so that they could be one of the lucky ones to score one of the additional units for our walk-in customers," GameStop Senior Director of Merchandising, Eric Bright, told Game Rant. "This is one of the strongest and most successful gaming console launches for GameStop in the last several years."

If you went home empty-handed, don't worry. Nintendo's Vice President of Sales, Doug Bowser (yes, seriously) promises a steady stream of Switches will flow into stores. Unlike other potentially lucrative ventures Nintendo flubbed badly.

Unsurprisingly, the universal acclaim for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild helped spur early Switch sales. The system's performance was a bit on the weak side in the UK, which has never been a very Nintendo-hungry market; the Switch sold 80,000 units in its opening weekend (by contrast, the PlayStation 4 sold 250,000 units), but Breath of the Wild charted at second place in the UK's game sales (below Horizon Zero Dawn).

In the absence of official numbers, that gives us a rough idea of how many new Switch owners paired up the system with a copy of Zelda. If you attended a midnight launch of your own, however, it's not a surprising revelation. Pretty much everyone I was in line with grabbed Zelda in addition to their Switch (the store manager also went down the line asking if anyone was there for the Wii U edition of Zelda; to my knowledge, there were no takers).

Let's do a quick study for legit business science: Did you, or anyone you know, not by Zelda with their Switch? Sound off!

The Switch is undeniably undercooked, but it looks like people are willing to put their faith in it. Let's hope Nintendo does right by its supporters through regular system updates and a steady supply of content.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve,, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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