The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds arrived in Europe and North America on 22nd November last year, but it was 26th December before it arrived in Japan. It's had a decent performance in the charts, too, claiming top spot in its début week before falling back to third place in its second week.
Yet how has it performed by the standards of its Zelda portable predecessors? Siliconera has obtained some useful data from Media Create to show that, overall, the performance has been entirely reasonable, if not quite a return to the glory days of The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on DS. Nintendo has clearly been fairly accurate in its sales projections and managed stock levels well; by providing stock to match demand, it avoids excess copies hanging around shelves only to be discounted.
Opening week sales of 224,143 led to stock sell-through of 83.47%; the second week brought overall sales to 297,215 units, which is apparently 96.84% sell through, so not long after launch Nintendo can now meet retail demand with additional stock. As you can see in the launch sales chart below Nintendo has done a reasonable job of judging demand, avoiding a troublesomely plentiful supply as was the case with Spirit Tracks, which led retailers to discount the title to clear shelf space.
How do these sales figures compare to the DS entries? While Link Between Worlds is shifting more copies than Ocarina of Time 3D, its early results haven't quite matched either DS predecessor.
Despite its strong run, the 3DS hardware is still a good distance away from the scale of the DS' success, and may never reach that level — time will tell. In any case the lightning in a bottle impact of its predecessors may be tough to replicate, though perhaps a reasonable ambition for the latest Zelda title can be to hit Spirit Tracks sales levels in Nintendo's homeland.
Some interesting statistics nevertheless. We'll see how the results tally up a year for now.