- The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in March, the big winner in a month when video-game hardware and software sales spiked as millions were forced indoors because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Sales of video-game hardware, software, accessories, and game cards topped $US1.6 billion for March, according to The NPD Group’s monthly report – “the highest reported spend for a March month since the $US1.8 billion achieved in March 2008.”
- Nintendo was the big winner: The Switch outsold the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. “Animal Crossing” topped the game-sales charts.
- The Switch has been sold out everywhere for weeks, and resellers are charging double or more for the $US300 console. Nintendo is increasing production to keep up with growing demand.
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Nintendo’s Switch was already a major success before a worldwide pandemic forced people indoors, with over 50 million units sold.
But as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the US in March and millions of Americans – including millions of parents with young children – increasingly spent much of their time inside, demand for the Switch sharply increased.
We’ve already seen some anecdotal evidence of that spike in demand, with every major retailer sold out of the console, but now we’ve got data: The console “set a new all-time record for hardware unit sales in a March month,” in a month where hardware spending grew by 63% compared to the prior year to $US461 million, according to NPD Group analyst Mat Piscatella.
The console outsold both Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One – and Nintendo also had the highest-selling game of the month in “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”
“New Horizons” is available only on the Nintendo Switch, yet the game topped the sales charts in March, besting heavyweights like “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” that are available on multiple platforms.
It instantly became the best-selling “Animal Crossing” game in the game’s 19-year franchise. Not only was “New Horizons” the best-selling game of March, it has also become the second-best-selling game of the year – behind only “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” – according to the report.
Nintendo’s Switch console was already popular before the coronavirus pandemic, but Nintendo was handily keeping up with demand.
Up until March, you could walk into most of the retailers mentioned above and walk out with a Nintendo Switch. But as the coronavirus pandemic spread in the US, and retailers closed across the country starting in March, supplies of the Switch became just as scarce as toilet paper at the supermarket.
Though production has largely resumed, Nintendo is still playing catch-up from the pause in production, so there are no consoles available to buy at the moment. Nintendo Switch supply issues are expected to be resolved by June.
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