Animal Crossing powers Nintendo to record Switch sales in Japan – The Verge

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is on track to become one of the best-selling video games of all time in Japan, according to sales figures released by Famitsu. The game managed to sell 1.88 million physical copies in its opening three days in Nintendo’s home market, a number far bigger than any other Switch game or Animal Crossing title to date. Famitsu doesn’t track digital sales, so the actual total will be significantly higher.

The game’s launch also propelled Switch hardware sales to new heights, despite Nintendo’s prior warning that the coronavirus pandemic would affect hardware production and shipments. More than 392,000 consoles were sold in Japan last week, the highest seven-day total ever for the Switch, and one that means it’s now sold more than the Wii in Japan. (The Switch is still far behind the Wii in global sales, however — the latest official total was 52.48 million units sold worldwide as of the end of 2019, while the Wii reached 101.63 million in its lifetime.)

Hardware sales were undoubtedly helped by the launch of two new variants: the Animal Crossing-branded Switch, and the coral pink Switch Lite. The cheaper, portable-only Switch Lite made up roughly 70 percent of all Switch sales last week, according to Famitsu’s data.

New Horizons is a relaxing adventure that sees you move to a desert island and hang out with your animal friends (or IRL buddies), making it perhaps uniquely suited for the challenging COVID-19 situation right now. “We’ve been planning this release for quite some time, so it’s unfortunate that this timing overlapped with what’s currently happening in the world,” producer Hisashi Nogami told The Verge. “I am very disheartened and saddened by the events happening across the world. Considering the timing, we hope that a lot of the Animal Crossing fans will use this as an escape, so they can enjoy themselves during this difficult time.”

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