Nintendo Switch Has Outsold Wii U In The UK

Satoru Shibata Nintendo Switch Launch

Nintendo Switch became the fastest-selling console of all time in the United States, and it has broken records in many other countries, too. But, in the UK there hasn’t been as much fanfare.

GamesIndustry.biz reports that the plucky portable home console has sold more than 700,000 units at retail, which, the website adds, has seen it outsell the Wii U “by a large margin.”

While Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe have collectively sold more than one million copies between them, but even after such incredible success it hasn’t set any new records in the country.

That’s because after 48 weeks on sale it hasn’t been able to eclipse the Wii, which had sold one million units in 38 weeks. The PlayStation 4 achieved that milestone in 42 weeks, the Nintendo DS in 45 weeks, the PlayStation 3 in 46 weeks, and the PlayStation 2 in 50 weeks, for a quick comparison.

After reaching out to IHS Markit director of research and analysis Piers Harding-Rolls about his thoughts on the console’s performance, he shared his observation with GamesIndustry.biz:

“I think there are a few things going on here. If you look at the historical performance of previous Nintendo consoles, UK has rarely taken the lead in sales in Europe. It is normally France, and occasionally Germany. The Wii and DS were an exception to the rule.

“In the UK there was a thirst for Wii from non-traditional game retailers and it shifted out of the games sector into something much more akin to a lifestyle product for offerings such as Wii Fit. There was a similar vibe with the DS and I think we can attribute some of the success of the DS due to the halo impact of the Wii.

“So historically more often than not, the UK has been relatively less engaged with the Nintendo brand and its IP compared to some of its European cousins considering its normal leading position in console adoption in Europe.

“But I also think there were some other local factors which may have dampened UK sales of the Switch. A £280 price point against a backdrop of exchange rate and economic turmoil following the Brexit vote probably pushed this out of financial reach of a good number of consumers.

“Add to this the up and down supply of Switch, very limited price point discounts for the console at the end of 2017, the aggressive price points of the favoured Xbox One S and PS4, and a picture forms where it is not surprising that Switch has not altered the historical trend of the UK following the lead of France.”

Written by
After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.

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