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Nintendo Switch is America's fastest-selling console

Of this generation, anyway.
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Aaron Souppouris / Engadget

In case it wasn't clear already, Nintendo has completely turned things around from the failure that was the Wii U. According to data from the reliable NPD Group, Nintendo sold more than 8.7 million Switch consoles in the US from its launch in March 2017 through November of 2018, putting it on a faster pace than the other "current generation" consoles from Microsoft and Sony after the same amount of time following their releases. It's a bit of a convoluted measure, and in pure numbers there are certainly more Xbox One and PS4 consoles (both of which launched in the fall 2013) out in the wild, but there's no doubt that Nintendo is in a better spot than they were before the Switch arrived.

Nintendo gave more details on just how good its hardware is selling, noting that in both console unit and dollar sales, 2018 was the best year the company has had since 2011, when the popularity of the original Wii was finally waning. Further reinforcing Nintendo's strong position, the company just announced that 3 million copies of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate were sold in the first 11 days following its release in the US, making it the fastest-selling Switch title to date. It's a similar story in Europe, where the new Smash Bros. is the fastest-selling game Nintendo has ever released.

That means Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will likely blow past the other best-selling Switch titles before long -- Nintendo says that it has sold 5 million copies of Mario Kart 8, 4.7 million of Super Mario Odyssey and 4 million of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Of course, Nintendo knows this could all change in a heartbeat. The company was riding high from the Wii's success at the beginning of this decade, but the Wii U flopped harder than anyone could have imagined. The good news for Nintendo is that the Switch is still quite young in console terms, and the data thus far indicates it should have a healthy few years ahead of it.

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