Nintendo Shares Jump After Switch Sets U.S. Sales Records

  • New console becomes ‘fastest-selling’ console for U.S. market
  • Sold 906,000 units in the U.S. in March, according to NPD

Attendees wait in line to test the Nintendo Co. Switch game console in New York.

Photographer: Kholood Eid/Bloomberg

Nintendo Co. shares jumped as much as 4 percent after the company said its new Switch console is off to a record-setting pace in the U.S. since its March 3 debut.

The new device sold 906,000 units in North America during March, according to industry researcher NPD Group. That means the gaming machine “sold faster in its launch month than any other video game system in Nintendo history,” according to Nintendo. The record only applies to the U.S. market, not globally, a spokesman for the Kyoto-based company said.

The Switch has received praise for its console-tablet hybrid design that lets gamers play both in the living room and outside the house. While its limited software lineup and limited graphics ability have been criticized, demand has consistently outstripped supply during the first six weeks of sales. That’s buoyed investors who think the Switch is on track to become a bigger hit than the Wii, the company’s best-selling home console of all-time.

The stock, which has climbed about 12 percent since the beginning of March, was up 3 percent at 26,005 yen at 10:31 a.m. in Tokyo.

Atul Goyal, an analyst at Jefferies Group, estimates that 2.5 to 3 million units were sold globally in March, outpacing Nintendo’s target of 2 million. Nintendo is scheduled to report full quarterly figures on April 27, including sales forecasts for the coming fiscal year.

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