The Switch can be played as a handheld device or on a television set © Bloomberg

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Sales of Nintendo’s Switch console have hit 10m units, the Japanese video games maker said on Tuesday, marking a stunning comeback year for the company behind the Super Mario and Zelda characters. 

The early popularity of the “hybrid” Switch, which can be played on a television set or as a handheld device, could see it exceed the first-year sales of Nintendo’s Wii, until now its most popular console. 

However, since the device’s launch in March, Nintendo’s suppliers have been struggling to keep up with demand, holding back what could otherwise have been even higher sales. 

The $300 Switch has succeeded by offering Nintendo’s traditional family-friendly gaming while also appealing to hardcore gamers with lengthy and complex titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The latest instalment in Nintendo’s 31-year-old Zelda franchise won the industry’s Game of the Year award last week. 

“The response from fans has been great, and we’re doing our very best to satisfy demand during the holiday shopping season,” said Reggie Fils-Aimé, Nintendo of America’s president and chief operating officer.

Hitting the 10m milestone means that Nintendo has sold about 2.5m Switches since the end of September, as the holiday shopping season has gained momentum. In October the company upgraded its profit projections to ¥85bn ($750m) for the financial year ending March 2018. By then, it forecast, Switch sales will have reached 14m. 

Nintendo’s latest sales figures follow Sony’s announcement last week that its PlayStation 4 console had sold more than 70m units so far, boosted by Black Friday discounts. Sony’s PlayStation VR accessory has sold 2m units, it said.

Microsoft has not disclosed Xbox One sales recently but analysts estimate it has sold about 35m units.

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