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The Nintendo Switch on display at a pop-up display room in Madison Square Park, New York, March 2017. — AFP picThe Nintendo Switch on display at a pop-up display room in Madison Square Park, New York, March 2017. — AFP picSAN FRANCISCO, Jan 5 — Nintendo's home and portable hybrid console is the USA's fastest-selling video game system of all time, the company says.

In keeping with Nintendo tradition, the Nintendo Switch looked like a bit of a risk when it launched in March 2017.

A tablet screen flanked by two detachable controllers and accompanied by a separate TV dock, the Switch replaced the underperforming Wii U and is a potential successor to the smash hit 3DS handheld.

But just as Nintendo had followed its 2001 GameCube -- then outpaced by the Xbox and PlayStation 2 — with 2006's blockbuster Wii, the Switch is hot on the heels of lifetime Wii U sales and could prove bothersome to both Microsoft and Sony.

Critics and fans have taken to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey while oddball sports game "Arms" has been welcomed as an innovative essential just as Splatoon was on the Wii U.

By mid-December of 2017, the Switch had sold in excess of 10 million units worldwide, at which point Nintendo said it was targeting 14 million units by the end of March.

Now, with some 4.8 million sales in the US alone, the Switch has surpassed 10-month sales records set by the previous record holder, the Wii, which managed 4 million units over the same time period.

The figure means that close to 1.5 million North American Switches would have been bought in December, pushing Nintendo closer to that 14 million unit milestone.

The Switch was already pronounced Japan's fastest-selling console of all time, surpassing the PlayStation 2's ten-month sales of 3 million units, when December's remarkably strong 844,000 tally contributed to a lifetime total of 3.2m sales.

And in terms of recovery from the Wii U era, Nintendo's previous home console sold 7.3 million units over its first 10 months.

By the time manufacturing ceased in January 2017, it tallied 13.56m; the Switch is all but guaranteed to post at least that much by March.

Meanwhile, Sony is yet to release North American holiday sales figures for the PlayStation 4, which sold 14.4 million units worldwide over its first year of availability.

Microsoft has been reticent to release figures for its Xbox One range since the PS4 started hitting its stride in 2014. In November 2017, it released an upgraded Xbox One X, which upon its debut became the most powerful video games console in history. — AFP-Relaxnews

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