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This Week In Sales: Nintendo Switch Makes Its Debut


Period: The week of February 27th –  March 5th (2017)

Top-seller: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – 186,379 (Switch)

Nintendo Switch – 329,151 (Last week – New)

Nintendo 2DS –  4,147 (4,303)

New Nintendo 3DS sales: 1,268 (1,254)

New Nintendo 3DS LL sales: 18,433 (15,984)

Wii U sales: 565 (464)

PlayStation 4 sales: 31,065 (37,008)

PlayStation 4 Pro: 6,742 (6,481)

PlayStation 3 sales: 615 (505)

PlayStation Vita sales: 9,889 (10,704)

Xbox One sales: 147 (469)

<< Last week’s software sales chart

<< How to read and understand sales


Last week was a huge week in Japan, as well as the rest of the world, with the release of Nintendo’s newest console, Switch. Here’s how the Nintendo Switch and its launch titles performed in Japan in the latest from Japanese sales tracker, Media Create, with a look at software and hardware sales from the week of February 27 through March 5, 2017.


At #1 we have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with 186,379 copies sold on Nintendo Switch. The game also took the #4 spot with 44,602 copies sold for Wii U. The combined total is 230,981 between the two versions, making it the fourth highest-selling debut for any Zelda title in Japan in the past 15 years.


Here’s a look at some data showing how The Legend of Zelda series has performed in Japan:


  • [2002] A Link to the Past and Four Swords – 89,900 (GBA)
  • [2002] Wind Waker – 407,700 (GameCube)
  • [2004] Minish Cap – 96,981 (GBA)
  • [2006] Twilight Princess – 139,011 (Wii)
  • [2007] Phantom Hourglass – 302,887 (DS)
  • [2009] Spirit Tracks – 291,496 (DS)
  • [2011] Ocarina of Time 3D – 164,110 (3DS)
  • [2011] Skyward Sword – 194,978 (Wii)
  • [2013] A Link Between Worlds – 224,143 (3DS)
  • [2015] Majora’s Mask 3D – 230,065 (3DS)
  • [2017] Breath of the Wild – 230,981 (Switch – 186,379|Wii U – 44,602)



[Data and chart courtesy our good friend Ishaan. Hit him up on Twitter to bug him about all-things sales and Zelda.]


Do keep in mind that The Legend of Zelda was never considered super popular in Japan as it is in the West. While it can be considered a “console seller” in some parts of the West, in Japan it’s always been a pretty popular title but not enough to ever break the domestic 1 million milestone. It did, however, pick up a following with its many handheld titles over the years in Japan, which certainly helped bring Link to the spotlight with our friends on the other side of the pond, and it’s pretty evident seeing how it is now one of the series’ best debuts on a console that hasn’t even been out for a week, meaning that it certainly picked up plenty of new fans along the way.


While Nintendo Switch-owners are enjoying the open-world goodness that is Breath of the Wild, those with PlayStation 4s aren’t left out as they got Horizon Zero Dawn that also released in Japan to take #2 with a nice 116,997 sold in its debut.


Moving on, we have 1-2-Switch take #3 with 79,536 copies sold for its launch week. This debut isn’t nearly as impressive considering the amount of marketing Nintendo had going on for the game in Japan, and it reminds me a lot of Nintendo Land’s debut of 72,121 copies sold when it released on Wii U back in December 2012. They’re both pretty similar in many ways and failed to perform like Wii Sports that sold 176,167 copies for the Wii in its Japanese debut. Again, the market is different and software sales are on the decline in Japan, so I think it’s fair to say that 1-2-Switch has a bit of an edge on Nintendo Land, but not by much.


Next up, we have Super Bomberman R at #6 with 36,623 copies sold. It may not seem like much, but it’ll have to do for a franchise that has seen more explosive days in the past. Dragon Quest Heroes I & II also debuted in Japan and it sold 25,606 copies. It’s definitely on the lower end, but understandable considering the Switch version doesn’t exactly offer anything new and it’s a bundle featuring two fairly recent games that released on several platforms. Same could actually be said for Puyo Puyo Tetris S which charted at #10 with 12,854 on Switch.


And finally, we have Winning Post 8 2017 at #19 on PS4 with 5,793 copies sold, and Doraemon: Nobita no Nankyoku Kachikochi Dai Bouken at #20 with 5,481 copies sold.


Since it’s not every week that we have new console releases, let’s take this opportunity to see how the Nintendo Switch stacks up compared to the last few major console launches in Japan, with numbers provided by Media Create:


  • (2006) PlayStation 3 – 81,639
  • (2006) Wii – 350,258
  • (2011) Nintendo 3DS – 374,764
  • (2011) PlayStation Vita – 324,859
  • (2014) PlayStation 4 – 309,154
  • (2017) Nintendo Switch – 329,151


As you can see, it didn’t reach Wii or Nintendo 3DS levels, but it managed to narrowly beat out the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 to make it the third best major console launch in Japan in over a decade. It’s also worth noting that its top-seller in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sold 186,379 copies, beating out the Wii U’s top-selling launch title New Super Mario Bros. U that sold 163,528 copies in its first week.


The top-20 chart for the week is as follows:

LwTwTitleWeekly SalesTotal SalesSysPublisher
New01.The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild186,379NewSwitchNintendo
New02.Horizon Zero Dawn116,997NewPS4SIE
New04.The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild44,602NewWii UNintendo
01.05.NieR: Automata38,002236,565PS4Square Enix
New06.Super Bomberman R36,623NewSwitchKonami
New07.Dragon Quest Heroes I & II for Nintendo Switch25,606NewSwitchSquare Enix
02.08.Super Robot Wars V15,321115,475PS4Bandai Namco
09.09.Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 3 Professional13,426163,0583DSSquare Enix
New10.Puyo Puyo Tetris S12,854NewSwitchSega
03.11.Super Robot Wars V12,81396,546PSVBandai Namco
06.12.Pokémon Sun & Moon12,2923,189,2713DSPokémon Company
04.13.Nioh10,210128,824PS4Koei Tecmo
13.14.Grand Theft Auto V7,357291,327PS4TakeTwo
10.15.Resident Evil 7: biohazard7,176291,666PS4Capcom
11.16.Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS7,042983,8673DSNintendo
08.17.For Honor6,43559,700PS4Ubisoft
14.18.Yo-kai Watch 3: Sukiyaki5,980681,2403DSLevel-5
New19.Winning Post 8 20175,793NewPS4Koei Tecmo
New20.Doraemon: Nobita no Nankyoku Kachikochi Dai Bouken5,481New3DSFuRyu

Sales data acquired from 4Gamer and Media Create.

Gamer, avid hockey fan, and firm believer in the heart of the cards.