If you’ve been looking to pick up a Nintendo Switch game console recently, you might have noticed they’re hard to come by — many stores are having trouble keeping them in stock, and Nintendo is said to be ramping up its manufacturing to keep up with demand.

As it turns out, it’s not just the Switch that’s seen a bump in sales while people around the globe are stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. NPD analyst Mat Piscatella tells VentureBeat that Microsoft and Sony also sold more game consoles in March, 2020 than they did in March, 2019.

But the Nintendo Switch saw a much larger bump.


According to Piscatella, year-over-year sales growth for each of the major game consoles looks something like this:

  • Sony PlayStation 4: 25-percent YoY increase
  • Microsoft Xbox One: 25-percent YoY increase
  • Nintendo Switch: More than 100-percent YoY increase

Given where each of the consoles are in their lifecycles, any growth at all is kind of surprising — Microsoft and Sony are both planning to release next-gen consoles later this year. But with millions of people stuck at home looking for something to do in their down time, normal patterns don’t really apply.

There are a number of possible reasons why the Switch saw a bigger boost than its competitors. It’s the newest of the bunch, for one thing. The $299 starting price (or $199 for a Switch Lite) is relatively low. And the game Animal Crossing: New Horizon, which was released March 20th has been ridiculously popular.

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