As the US economy faces the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and many businesses are forced to close or slowly reopen, one industry is booming: video games.
And not just any video games. The new Nintendo Switch came out on top as people stuck at home bought it in droves when the pandemic began in March. Collaborative multiplayer games, casually called “couch co-op,” such as “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” “Mario Party,” and “Mario Kart” that can be played virtually with others, are making a comeback in the game. game. world and exploding Nintendo’s profits.
“The Switch is the phenomenon of the lockdown period,” Pelham Smithers, a technology and gaming analyst with more than 25 years of experience analyzing Japanese tech companies, told Zenger News. “I was looking at the different Amazons – Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Japan – to see what the price of the Switch was. Before COVID, the recommended price was $299. It’s now £500 in the UK [equivalent to $635 USD]and 46,000 yen [$424 USD] in Japan. It’s almost double the recommended price. It’s absolutely staggering, Nintendo’s popularity.
The Nintendo Switch console is now so popular that it has sold out on most major retailer websites. As of this writing, on Amazon US, a used Switch is listed at $470, with one in stock. The reason Nintendo is so popular, Smithers said, is simply because of the way the console is designed. It allows people in the same room to play the same game on a single console.
“With families isolating together, Nintendo is one of the few video game systems where it’s actually quite easy to have multiple people playing in the same room,” he said.
There’s no reason for a Playstation, he says. “Playstation, identical to Xbox, only comes with one controller. If you’re in confinement with normal gear, only one of you can play with it. And games are designed for one person playing on one machine, and multiplayer games are all played over the internet. Nintendo Switch is in a unique position in this regard,” said Smithers.
The Playstation 4 console supports up to four controllers and the Xbox One up to eight additional controllers are sold separately.
Nintendo Switch sales have soared 24% over the past year, and Nintendo video game sales have soared 42% since March 2019, according to the Japanese video game company’s annual report. report.
Escape game ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ has sold 11.77 million copies in less than two weeks after its initial release in March, and 13.44 million in the first six weeks of its release. exit. Meanwhile, Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. and other Nintendo Switch games are all the best-selling episodes of their respective franchises as of the last month, according to Nintendobeating the Wii U, Wii, 3DS and DS versions.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., is one of many people who have been drawn into the gaming world during the pandemic. At the beginning of May, she ohwriting her Twitter direct messages, known as DMs, for four minutes to receive friend codes, or “Dodo” codes as they are called in “Animal Crossing”, from other players so she can visit them in the virtual world.
“Hi! Very new to this,” she tweeted. “I’d like to visit random people’s islands and leave a doodle or note on their bulletin board. Can I do this? If so, how? Should I open my DMs for the first time since the Zuckerberg hearing for Dodo codes? »
Thousands of his followers liked and retweeted his announcement about the game, in which players can escape to a deserted island, create their own utopian paradise and show it off to family and friends.
“Honestly, never in my life did I think opening my DMs would give me faith in humanity, but the brief window actually made a lot of those posts very wholesome,” Ocasio-Cortez said. . “People are asking for surprise visits to islands from their spouse!! This is the love everyone deserves.
After “visiting” subscribers and voters, Ocasio-Cortez announced that she would open her DMs for another four minutes to receive more friend codes. She even gave a start address for an Animal Crossing degree.
The enthusiastic response to Ocasio-Cortez’s presence in Animal Crossing is just one example of the depth with which this game, and other Nintendo games, have infiltrated American culture during the pandemic.
Much of the games industry has moved away from consoles and co-op couch games, but Smithers believes the coronavirus pandemic will help revive their long-term popularity.
“The reason co-op couch games went out of fashion is, let’s say you had four people on a car racing game and they were in different parts of the track. To show it, you had to divide the screen into four segments. It’s actually quite difficult. There’s not a lot of room in a full-size TV. It makes the screen quite small for a gamer,” he said.
“With the Switch, everyone has their own LED screen. One person could play on the TV and everyone else on their LED screens. »
Unlike other console systems, gamers don’t have to rely on a single TV to play Switch games.
To date, the Nintendo Switch has sold 55.77 million units worldwide.
(Editing by Brandi Fowler and Judy Isacoff)
The post Why Nintendo’s Sales Are Soaring During the Global Pandemic appeared first on Zenger News.