Nintendo Sales Soar With Heightened Demand During Pandemic

Japanese gaming giant Nintendo facing increased demand for its products as people stay at home during pandemic

Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch
5/51 rating

Nintendo Co. has seen a significant boost to sales of Switch and Switch Lite consoles amid rising demand for video gaming entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company recently had to suspend shipments of its popular video game consoles due to production issues as a result of the coronavirus outbreak but it is set to restart distribution this week.

People at home turn to video games for entertainment

With people being advised to stay at home and practice social distancing, the demand for Switch and Switch Lite consoles is increasing. However, as they’re currently in short supply, many consoles are being resold on internet shopping sites and online flea markets for a much higher price.

Video game sales have risen by 35 per cent as the spread of COVID-19 sent many countries into lockdown. According to a monthly report by NPD Group, game-related purchases, including software, hardware and accessories, reached $1.6 billion dollars, which is a 35 per cent increase on the same month last year.

Software sales rose by 34 per cent, while hardware sales climbed 63 per cent last month compared to March 2019. NPD Group revealed that the Nintendo Switch set a sales record in March 2020, selling double that of last year.

Xbox One and PlayStation 4 also experienced a rise in sales, up more than 25 per cent.

Video game sales increased by 35 per cent as the spread of COVID-19 sent many countries into lockdown

Nintendo game tops the chart

Nintendo’s latest game offering is also proving successful. Animal Crossing: New Horizons topped the game sales chart for March, making it the company’s third-best opening month for one of its games – coming in just behind Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

According to Mat Piscatella, an NPD Group U.S. games industry analyst, the new game “defined March 2020 for the video game market and the corresponding period of social distancing.”

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a game designed around developing communities and forging connections, was certainly the right game at the right time. And there’s no doubt that its success helped lift an entire market beyond what would have otherwise occurred,” wrote Piscatella in a blog post.

Gaming limits for Japanese children

As video gaming activity rises across the globe, Japan’s Kagawa Prefecture has just passed a bill placing strict limits on the amount of time that children under the age of 18 years are allowed to play video games.

The bill states that young people are only permitted one hour of video game time per day on weekdays and an hour and a half per day on the weekends. Restrictions also extend to kids’ use of smartphones, mandating that they are not be used after 10 pm.

How have you been passing the time lately? Has your time spent gaming increased, or have you found a new hobby? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Written by Catherine McGuinness

Writer and journalist with a love for all things Japan.

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