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Nintendo Sales Panic: October 2021 US NPD Group Results

by Donald Theriault - November 12, 2021, 1:28 pm EST
Discuss in talkback! Source: NPD Group, Washington Post

Hey, we got actual numbers this time!

Nintendo's first month of US sales for the Switch OLED kicked off what the company hopes will be a new, extended winning streak in the console realm, according to the NPD Group.

All data based on dollars from October 3 - 30, unless otherwise noted. Nintendo does not present digital sales to the survey, though some third parties do present their eShop sales as applicable.

The Switch was the top selling console in the country in October, for both revenue and units - following the PlayStation 5's unit win in September. In an interview with the Washington Post (possible paywall), NoA President Doug Bowser confirmed total sales in the four week period as 711,000 for all Switch versions combined, 314,000 of which were the OLED. According to the same interview, sales overall were only 3% lower than 2020 (which did not have the US$350 OLED model).

Nintendo's two retail debuts in October hit the top 10 for the combined sales chart. Metroid Dread (October 8) was the third best selling game of the month, trailing only the multiplatform Far Cry 6 (Ubisoft) and Back 4 Blood (2K). The same WaPo interview confirmed unit sales of Metroid Dread as 854k in the 23 day sale period, though it isn't clear if Bowser's quoted figure is including eShop sales or just the game's physical sales. We have contacted Nintendo for clarification. NPD confirmed that dollar sales for Metroid Dread are the highest in the history of the series, "nearly doubling" the launch month of Metroid Prime: note that Dread's MSRP is $10 higher. The other debut, Mario Party Superstars (October 29) placed 8th despite only having two days on sale.

Other Nintendo titles in the top 20 include: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (11th), Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (14th), Animal Crossing New Horizons (15th), and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (20th). Third parties with Switch releases include FIFA 22 (6th), Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (7th, only on Switch as a cloud version), NBA 2k22 (10th), Minecraft (16th), Diablo II Resurrected (18th), and Mortal Kombat 11 (19th).

The full Switch top 10 for the period:

  1. Metroid Dread
  2. Mario Party Superstars
  3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  5. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  7. Pokemon Sword/Shield
  8. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
  9. Minecraft (Mojang/Microsoft)
  10. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
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