Nintendo Switch sales outpace Wii lifetime total in Japan

The Nintendo Switch has now sold more in Japan than the Wii.

Nintendo Switch sales

Image via Nintendo

It should be no surprise to anyone who’s paying even a little attention to the games industry that the Nintendo Switch is a massive hit, but just how quickly it’s selling may still be a shock. New figures from Japan show that as of this week, the Switch has outsold the Wii in Nintendo’s home country after a massive week of sales.

Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad reports that Nintendo sold more than 390,000 Switches in Japan in the last week alone, pushing the total number of sales above the Wii’s lifetime total of 12.7 million consoles. That the Switch was able to beat that number in just two years is extremely impressive, as is the report that this week’s figures actually beat the Switch’s sales at launch.

Of course, this wasn’t a typical week for Nintendo or anyone else. Perhaps the biggest factor driving the Switch sales boom was the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The highly anticipated game had the biggest launch for any Switch game so far in Japan, and the highest launch day sales for any Animal Crossing game, selling more than 2.5 million copies in its first three days, according to Ahmad.

On top of New Horizons’ launch, two new Switch models recently became available — the Coral color Switch Lite and the Animal Crossing special edition Switch — which likely boosted sales further.

On a more serious note, it can’t be ignored that the COVID-19 pandemic is also keeping people inside more, which has led to reports of more time spent gaming and higher sales of video games.

Related: Nintendo of America repair centers close as part of COVID-19 preventive measures

The recently released figures only take into account sales in Japan, where the Wii wasn’t quite as popular as it was elsewhere in the world. Though only 12.7 million Wii consoles were sold in Japan, the console sold more than 101 million units worldwide. That’s still a long way from the Switch’s worldwide sales of around 52.48 million units reported by Nintendo in January.

Since its 2017 release, the Switch has already sold more consoles worldwide than the SNES, GameCube, Nintendo 64, or Wii U have to date, and it’s nearly caught up to lifetime sales for the NES. Given enough time, it seems like Nintendo’s newest console is well on its way to toppling quite a few more sales records.

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