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Switch Sold 711,000 Units in the US in October, Metroid Dread Sets Franchise Record

Switch Sold 711,000 Units in the US in October, Metroid Dread Sets Franchise Record - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 12 November 2021 / 5,647 Views

The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in the US in October 2021 in terms of unit sales and dollars, according to figures from NPD. NPD includes the dates for the four week period of October 3 through October 30.

Nintendo did reveal the Switch sold 711,000 units in October, with the OLED Model selling 314,000 units in its launch month. 

The PlayStation 5 remains the best-selling hardware platform in 2021 in terms of dollars, while the Nintendo Switch is number one in units sold.

"Switch was the best-selling hardware platform of October in both units and dollars, aided by the launch of the Nintendo Switch - OLED Model," said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. 

"PlayStation 5 remains the best-selling hardware platform of 2021 year-to-date in dollars, while Nintendo Switch leads in units."

Overall spending on video games increased 16 percent year-over-year from $3.79 billion to $4.39 billion. Year-to-date spending increased 12 percent compared to 2020 from $31.53 billion to $46.67 billion.

"October 2021 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories grew 16% vs [year ago], reaching an October record $4.4 billion," said Piscatella. "Year-to-date consumer spending reached $46.7 billion, gaining 12% when compared to the same period in 2020."

He added, "Hardware dollar sales gained 82% compared to a year ago, helping lead the market to 16% total [year-over-year] growth. Content was also strong - double-digit percentage gains were achieved across all content segments in October vs [year ago]."

Overall spending on hardware increased 82 percent year-on-year to from $260 million to $472 million. Year-to-date spending on hardware has increased 53 percent compared to 2020 from $2.54 billion to $3.88 billion.

"October video game hardware dollar sales increased 82% when compared to October 2020, to $472 million," said Piscatella. "Year-to-date hardware spending has increased 53% when compared to the same period a year ago, reaching $3.9 billion."

Spending on video game content in October 2021 is up 11 percent year-over-year from $3.38 billion to $3.76 billion. Year-to-date spending on content has increased 10 percent from $37.22 billion to $40.87 billion.

Spending on video game accessories is up five percent in October 2021 to $158 million, while year-to-date spending is up nine percent to $1.92 billion. The Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the best-selling accessory in October in terms of dollar sales. The PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller White is the best-selling accessory in 2021.

"The Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the best-selling accessory of October, while the PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller White remains the best-selling accessory of the year," said Piscatella.

Far Cry 6 was the best-selling game in the US in October 2021 on the overall charts, PlayStation charts, and Xbox charts. It is now the eighth best-selling game on 2021. 

"Far Cry 6 debuted as October's best-selling game, instantly becoming the 8th best-selling game of 2021 to date," said Piscatella. "Far Cry 6 ranked 1st on both PlayStation and Xbox platforms in October."

Back 4 Blood debuted in second place on the overall charts, as well as on the PlayStation and Xbox charts. It should be noted the game was also available on Xbox Game Pass.

"Back 4 Blood was October's #2 best-selling game, also ranking 2nd on both PlayStation and Xbox platforms," said Piscatella.

Metroid Dead debuted in third place on the overall charts, as well as number one on the Switch charts. It is the highest launch sales month ever for a Metroid game. Physical dollar sales nearly doubled the previous record set by Metroid Prime.

"Metroid Dread debuted as October's #3 best-selling game, while also ranking 1st on Switch," said Piscatella. "Metroid Dread achieved the highest launch month sales of any Metroid franchise release in tracked history."

Nintendo did announce Metroid Dread sold 854,000 units in the US in October to make it "the best start for any Metroid game ever," according to Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser.

Here are the top 20 best-selling games in terms of dollars for October 2021:

Top 10 best-selling Nintendo games for October 2021:

Top 10 best-selling PlayStation games for October 2021:

Top 10 best-selling Xbox games for October 2021:

Here are the top 10 best-selling games of 2021 to date:


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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28 Comments
2zosteven (on 12 November 2021)

we need to se a Metroid 2D collection. according to sales numbers millions of people have missed out on fantastic games.

  • +10
Jumpin 2zosteven (on 12 November 2021)

I agree. To me, the 2D Metroid games (especially Metroid 1) are the heart and soul of the franchise.

  • 0
Salnax 2zosteven (on 12 November 2021)

In theory, NSO could provide people with the basics (the main entries and Zero Mission). But that would require it being worth its current price.

  • +1
Doctor_MG (on 12 November 2021)

Best debut for a Metroid game in the US, UK, and Japan without taking into account digital sales (which weren't even possible for other best selling Metroid games like Metroid Prime).

This will be the best selling Metroid game ever, no doubt about it. Until maybe Prime 4, that is. That Switch effect is golden.

  • +8
PAOerfulone (on 12 November 2021)

854k for Dread in just one month! BOOM!
Add sales for the rest of NA + Europe, Japan, and the other regions, and this game has to be closer to 2 million than 1 million!

  • +7
trunkswd PAOerfulone (on 12 November 2021)

Metroid Dread is likely the best-selling Metroid game ever after just one month.

  • +9
NextGen_Gamer trunkswd (on 12 November 2021)

That number is also most likely only physical, boxed copy sales; Doug Bowser revealed that number in an interview specifically about the October NPD results, and in those, Nintendo does not provide digital sales data.

  • 0
Kakadu18 NextGen_Gamer (on 12 November 2021)

No, that number is the total.

  • 0
NextGen_Gamer Kakadu18 (on 15 November 2021)

How do you know?

  • 0
Kakadu18 NextGen_Gamer (on 15 November 2021)

It's revenue is nearly double of Metroid Prime's first month revenue. MP1 was sold for $50 and sold 363k copies first month in November 2002. Metroid Dread goes for $60.
Multiplying 363k with 50 equals $18.15mil revenue. Doubling that gets us 36.3mil, divided by 60 we get 605k. Since it nearly doubled it, it should be just below 600k physical. I wrote a shorter version of that in another comment further down, so next time make sure to read all the comments.

  • +1
NextGen_Gamer Kakadu18 (on 16 November 2021)

Ahhhh, I see what you saying now. Since NPD said physical revenue nearly doubled Metroid Prime 1, and we know what MP1's revenue was (and what their respective price points were), we can figure out roughly how many copies were sold in stores. But this is great! Nintendo only releases full counts of software sold each quarter. And NPD doesn't release sales counts at all, only rankings. So we never know what type of physical-to-digital ratio Nintendo has. 854,000 total, and we will just guess 575,000 copies of those were physical, means that digital sales account for roughly 33% of total sales. That is bit lower than a lot of other publishers, but also makes sense since Switch has a paltry 32GB (or 64GB on OLED) of storage space, almost forcing you to buy an SD card to get games digitally.

  • 0
Slownenberg (on 12 November 2021)

Sounds like Dread is already maybe just over half way to the global Metroid sales record after its first month. Hopefully it can have a good holiday and some legs and get a boost when the rumored MP remake and MP4 get released. Would love to see Dread hunt down 5 million when it's all over.

  • +2
ShadowLink93 (on 12 November 2021)

Oled only made up 314k of those 711k sold, i think they're holding a lot back for black friday and Poke'mon.

  • +2
holzi ShadowLink93 (on 13 November 2021)

I think that they just cannot produce more Devices right now. Especially Switch OLED. If companies like Sony and especially Microsoft cannot get as many units produced as they want to, Nintendo will not either. That's also why we will not see a lot of Steam Decks shipped in 2022 and why we have not seen a Switch Pro and likely will not until this shortage is at least less severe.

  • +1
Sogreblute holzi (on 13 November 2021)

I don't think we're getting a Switch Pro. Nintendo will go straight to Switch 2 or whatever is their next system.

  • 0
Kakadu18 (on 12 November 2021)

Best Metroid debut ever and still outsold by a mediocre, low effort and generic Ubisoft game.

  • +2
ShadowLink93 Kakadu18 (on 12 November 2021)

Far Cry is a bigger IP, Can't expect Metroid to go from almost nothing in a decade to being bigger than Far Cry. This is the biggest launch ever for a Metroid game so as long as the series keeps growing then we should be happy.

  • +4
JWeinCom Kakadu18 (on 12 November 2021)

Don't think there's any shame in getting outsold by a sequel to a game that sold around 5 million.

  • 0
tak13 Kakadu18 (on 12 November 2021)

multiplatform*

  • 0
holzi Kakadu18 (on 13 November 2021)

Casual games simply sell better. And Far Cry is a game with a more casual audience then Metroid. That's why it sells better and that's also why Mario Kart is the best selling Nintendo game almost every year since the Switch launched.

  • 0
CaptainExplosion Kakadu18 (on 13 November 2021)

What's even more insulting is that in Europe it was outsold by the worst FIFA game to date.

  • +2
brute Kakadu18 (on 14 November 2021)

We dont know where Metroid would rank if digital was included for it in the chart.
Nintendo games dont include digital.

  • 0
Kakadu18 brute (on 14 November 2021)

I know.

  • 0
gtotheunit91 (on 12 November 2021)

So Guardians of the Galaxy sold like.....idk 500k while on 6 platforms? Sure, it was only out for 5 days in October, but it barely sold more than Mario Party Superstars that was only on a single platform and only out for 3 days in October.

  • +1
Kakadu18 gtotheunit91 (on 12 November 2021)

It's likely less than 500k, since that 854k number for Dread includes digital but that ranking does not include it for Dread. If you do the maths, based on Dread almost doubling Prime 1's first month
revenue, which sold 363k at $50, Metroid Dread should be a bit below 600k physical.

  • 0
CaptainExplosion (on 12 November 2021)

Awesome, but I was hoping Metroid Dread did even better!!

  • +1
ShadowLink93 (on 12 November 2021)

Another 700k+ October NPD for Switch just like last year.

  • 0
Kakadu18 ShadowLink93 (on 12 November 2021)

3% down from last year according to Nintendo.

  • 0