Bloomberg reports that since the Nintendo Switch went on sale on March 3rd, Nintendo (NTDOY 41,25 +0,04 +0,10%) has outperformed the broader Japanese market by 20 percent. This is more than double the 8.9 percent out-performance during the same time period following the Wii’s launch in 2006. It’s also far ahead of the Wii U’s poor launch in 2012 which saw shares fall by nearly 30 percent.
In 2006, the Nintendo Wii launched with large numbers, selling 600 thousand units during its first week after releasing. The console launched with copies of Wii Sports, an immensely successful title and the best-selling game on the Wii. Many of Nintendo’s flagship franchises released on the console, making it Nintendo’s best-selling console until the release of the Switch.
Nintendo’s follow-up console, the Wii U, sold 400 thousand units after its first week. Sales dropped severely afterwards, however, selling only 25 thousand more units within the month. Due to the lack of 3rd party support, and hardware that struggled to compete with other consoles on the market, The Wii U failed to reach a wide audience. Despite releasing a number of first party titles and undergoing a price cut, the Wii U only sold around 13.56 million throughout its lifespan.
The Nintendo Switch is estimated to have sold between 2.5 to 3 million units during March, beating the company’s target goal of 2 million units sold. The strong sale numbers have come despite criticism of the console’s small software lineup currently available and multiple complaints of hardware issues. Another common issue for the console has been stocking issues with most retailers having been sold out since the console’s release. Nintendo’s previously stated that a number of titles are in development currently and will release throughout 2017 and 2018 such as Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey. Nintendo has also been working with consumers through its customer service department to sort out any hardware issues while also doing their best to restock the consoles at major retailers.