The Nintendo Switch sold more than double the number of consoles in March 2020 in the US than in March 2019, according to data from The NPD Group, showing that the Switch continues to be a hit more than three years after its 2017 launch (via VentureBeat). PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales in the US were up as well, growing 25 percent year over year, reports NPD.
The increased sales of all of the consoles show that people are turning to video games for entertainment while they’re stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But March also featured the launch Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was likely a significant contributor to the increased number of Switch sales.
US NPD HW - Nintendo Switch set a new all-time record for hardware unit sales in a March month, besting the previous high set by Nintendo Switch in its March 2017 launch month.— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) April 21, 2020
Animal Crossing was the top-selling game in March, and it’s the second best-selling game of the year so far, according to NPD. However, NPD hasn’t revealed specific sales numbers, so it’s unclear exactly how many copies of the game Nintendo sold in the US last month or how its sales compare to other titles.
We already have a sense of Animal Crossing’s massive popularity in Japan, though: the game sold more than 1.8 million physical copies in its first three days on sale, and the Switch has now sold more consoles than the Wii in Japan, according to sales information from Famitsu.
Animal Crossing could also be a long-term hit for Nintendo, as the company will likely support the game for a while. Earlier today, Nintendo announced a new update for the game and detailed a schedule of upcoming seasonal events that will take place through June.
The launch of the Animal Crossing-themed Switch console and availability of the cheaper Switch Lite, which costs $100 less than the full-fledged Switch, may have also contributed to the Switch’s increased hardware sales in the US.
Nintendo’s next earnings release is scheduled for May 7th, and it seems likely that the company could share more information about sales of the Switch and Animal Crossing then.