By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close
Switch Sales Set Record in the US, Animal Crossing: New Horizons 3rd Biggest Nintendo Launch Ever

Switch Sales Set Record in the US, Animal Crossing: New Horizons 3rd Biggest Nintendo Launch Ever - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 May 2020 / 5,863 Views

The Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in the US in March 2020, outselling the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, according to figures from NPD. 

Sales for the Switch set a new record for sales in March, beating the previous record set during the launch month in March 2017. The console also had the highest first quarter sales for any hardware platform since the Nintendo DS in the first quarter of 2010. 

Sales for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One after seeing sales way down year-over-year in January and February, saw a boost in March. Both consoles were up by more than 25 percent year-over-year. 

"Hardware spending in March 2020 grew 63% when compared to a year ago, to $461 million," said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. "Nintendo Switch hardware sales more than doubled when compared to a year ago, while PlayStation 4 and Xbox One each grew by more than 25 percent.  First quarter hardware spending increased by 2 percent, to $773 million."

Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing New Horizons

Overall spending on hardware increased 63 percent year-on-year to $461 million, while spending on software jumped 34 percent to $739  million. Overall spending on video games increased 35 percent to $1.6 billion.

"March 2020 tracked spending across video game hardware, software, and accessories and game cards totaled $1.6 billion, gaining 35% when compared to a year ago," said Piscatella. "Year-to-date 2020 tracked spending across video game hardware, software, and accessories and game cards totaled $3 billion, declining 4 percent when compared to a year ago."

The overall gaming market had declined 28 percent through the first two months of 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019. The release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons and other high profile releases helped sales for the month. Of course, with people staying at home due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this also helped cause an increase in sales

"Dollar sales of tracked video game software grew 34% in March compared to a year ago, to $739 million," said Piscatella. "March tracked software spending reached its highest total for a March month since 2011. Nine of the top 10 best-selling games of March 2020 generated higher dollar sales than similarly ranked titles a year ago."

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the best-selling game in March 2020 and is already the second best-selling game of 2020. It had the third biggest launch ever for any Nintendo published game. Only Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Smash Bros. Brawl had larger launches. Yes, the game had a bigger launch than any Mario or Zelda game since NP started tracking game sales. 

"Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the best-selling game of March 2020 and the second best-selling game of 2020 year to date," said Piscatella. "Animal Crossing: New Horizons achieved the third highest launch month physical dollar and unit sales of any Nintendo published game in tracked history. Among Nintendo published games, only Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Dec 2018) and Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Mar 2008) debuted with higher physical software sales in a launch month."

Animal Crossing: New Horizons in its first month has outsold the lifetime sales of all other games in the Animal Crossing franchise.

"Launch month dollar sales of Animal Crossing: New Horizons have exceeded the lifetime sales of all other Animal Crossing franchise games, making Animal Crossing: New Horizons the best-selling game in franchise history," he added.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was the second best-selling game of March 2020 and is the best-selling game for the year. Call of Duty franchise sales set a new all-time high for the month of March, beating the previous record set in March 2010.

"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was the second best-selling game of March 2020 and is now the best-selling game of 2020 year to date," said Piscatella. "March sales of Call of Duty franchise titles reached a new all-time high for a March month, exceeding the previous peak set in March 2010."

MLB The Show 20 was the third best-selling game of March 2020 and is the fifth best-selling game of 2020. The Major League Baseball game also had the best-selling launch ever for the franchise, with sales stronger than the previous record set by MLB The Show 19.

"MLB The Show 20 was the third best-selling game of March 2020, and instantly becomes the fifth best-selling game of 2020," said Piscatella. "And MLB The Show 20 is the fastest-selling game in MLB The Show franchise history, with launch month sales significantly exceeding those of the previous best, MLB The Show 19."

MLB The Show 20

Here are the top 20 best-selling games in terms of dollars:

    1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
    2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
    3. MLB: The Show 20
    4. Resident Evil 3
    5. NBA 2K20
    6. Doom Eternal*
    7. Persona 5: Royal
    8. Grand Theft Auto V
    9. Borderlands 3
    10. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
    11. Nioh 2
    12. Red Dead Redemption II
    13. FIFA 20 [EA Sports]
    14. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
    15. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX*
    16. Madden NFL 20 [EA Sports]
    17. Just Dance 2020
    18. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order
    19. Mortal Kombat 11
    20. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Remastered

    * Digital sales not included
    ^ Steam sales not included
    # Minecraft digital sales on Xbox and PlayStation included

    Here are the lists of top 10 selling games by platform for the month:

    Top 10 best-selling Xbox One games for March 2020

    1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
    2. Resident Evil 3
    3. Doom Eternal*
    4. NBA 2K20
    5. Grand Theft Auto V
    6. Madden NFL 20 [EA Sports]
    7. Red Dead Redemption II
    8. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order
    9. FIFA 20 [EA Sports]
    10. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition

    Top 10 best-selling PlayStation 4 games for March 2020

    1. MLB: The Show 20
    2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
    3. Persona 5: Royal
    4. Resident Evil 3
    5. NBA 2K20
    6. Nioh 2
    7. Doom Eternal*
    8. Grand Theft Auto V
    9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Remastered
    10. FIFA 20 [EA Sports]

    Top 10 best-selling Nintendo Switch games for March 2020

    1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
    2. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
    3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
    4. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX*
    5. Just Dance 2020
    6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
    7. Super Mario Party*
    8. Luigi’s Mansion 3*
    9. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe*
    10. Pokemon: Sword*

    Top 10 best-selling games of 2020 through March 2020

    1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
    2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
    3. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
    4. NBA 2K20
    5. MLB: The Show 20
    6. Grand Theft Auto V
    7. Resident Evil 3
    8. Madden NFL 20 [EA Sports]
    9. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
    10. Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order

    Thanks VentureBeat.


    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


    More Articles

    10 Comments
    YanisFromFrance (on 21 April 2020)

    Animal Crossing is Awesooome

    • +7
    IcaroRibeiro (on 21 April 2020)

    Animal Crossing is a unexpected phenomena it seems. I'm happy, just loved the game

    • +7
    dark_gh0st_b0y (on 21 April 2020)

    US sounds like a happier place now :P

    • +4
    Slownenberg (on 21 April 2020)

    Wow can't wait to see the global Animal crossing numbers when Nintendo does its quarterly report.

    • +2
    Wman1996 (on 21 April 2020)

    Who could've ever guessed this for a series that debuted late in the N64's life cycle and took a lot of push to make it outside of Japan?
    There is a possible downside to this. Nintendo may believe the high sales of the game were largely due to the long wait from New Leaf. We might have to wait until 2025-2027 for the next core Animal Crossing game. I'd rather not wait that long, but we might have to.

    • +1
    garretslarrity Wman1996 (on 22 April 2020)

    Considering we only get one Animal Crossing game per system, I think we were going to have to wait that long anyway.

    • 0
    Wman1996 Wman1996 (on 23 April 2020)

    Five years...maybe. But seven would be nuts again, regardless of only one main game per platform. The first version of AC on N64 to the launch of Wild World was only about 4.5 years. And there were multiple versions of the original game released. Then Wild World to City Folk was only 3 years. City Folk to New Leaf was 4 to 4.5 years depending on where you lived in the world. Then it was about about 6.7 to 7.3 years from New Leaf to New Horizons, depending on where you lived. My point is that the Switch 2 will likely launch between Holiday 2022-Holiday 2023. So anything more than 4-5 years for the next Animal Crossing is ridiculous.

    • 0
    garretslarrity Wman1996 (on 23 April 2020)

    Well that's because Nintendo used to have two systems, and now only one. If you look at AC games from handheld to handheld or console to console 7 years has actually been the norm. Plus there's no way Switch 2 is coming out in 2022. 2023 is possible, but 2024 is more likely. So 5 years from now for the next AC game would still be earlier in the Switch 2's lifecycle than NH was for Switch.

    • 0
    javi741 (on 22 April 2020)

    I'm a bit disappointed that people are buying an unambitious game like New Super Mario Bros U and now Mario Odyssey or Mario Maker 2

    • 0
    javi741 javi741 (on 22 April 2020)

    and not*

    • +1