While the effects of the Pandemic and the subsequent worldwide lockdowns hurt world economies and many industries a few have seen growth, in some cases exponentially. The Video Games Industry had one of the biggest surges in sales ever recorded for a month of March in it history.
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales grew by 25 percent from the previous March (2019). Nintendo’s Switch however, more than double its sales (partly) fueled by the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Nintendo sold 4.2 million Switch units for the month. A staggering number that couple with some factory shutdowns (due to the pandemic) caused shortages and skyrocketed the price of Switch device sin online stores like Ebay. A quick search this morning revealed the system is selling for 499.99 in some places, and this price is being charged for the device without a packed in game.
The Switch retail’s price remains fixed at 299.99 and considering how well the device is selling I do not expect Nintendo to drop the price until the PS5 and the Series X arrive later this year.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons without doubt was one of the fueling forces behind the sales surge. The moved 13 million units in 6 weeks. The number undermines Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VIIR’s own record setting 3.5 million units in three days, as it is safe to assume that the sales tapered off after that (SE has failed to release follow up numbers after announcing the 3 day recording setting sales).
The Switch as it nears the 60 million units sales mark, has become Nintendo’s most popular console/portable machine in the last decade. It is expected to surpass 3DS lifetime sales, and it has already left the Wii U’s disastrous sales in the dust. Nintendo’s bounce back from its most disastrous home console cycle (Wii Us) is commendable.
Some franchises seem to be doing better on the system than they did in Nintendo’s highest selling console the Nintendo Wii. The just released Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edititon ( a remastered version with extras of the original Wii RPG) sold twice as much as the original did at launch.
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild has also become the highest selling Zelda of all time as it approaches the 18 million unit mark.
The Switch’s launch killer app, is actually a slightly ( A higher 900p resolution while docked, in comparison to the Wii U’s 720p resolution, plus a more stable framerate) enhanced port of the Wii U’s swan song title. It arrived too late to save the Wii U, but it was exactly what the Switch to needed to ignite its record setting run. At point the actual Breath of Wild title had outsold the Switch units early in the hybrid console’s launch period.
The other factor that has bolstered the system’s sales is the cheaper $199.99 portable only Switch Lite. Shortages have this unit selling anywhere from $249 to $300 dollars on internet outlets. Either way, so far so good for Nintendo. It will interesting to see how the Switch fares when the new competing consoles arrive this holiday season.