Nintendo Co.’s family-friendly online shooter Splatoon 3 became its biggest Switch debut to date with 3.45 million units sold in Japan during its opening weekend.
Nintendo Co.’s family-friendly online shooter Splatoon 3 became its biggest Switch debut to date with 3.45 million units sold in Japan during its opening weekend. Nintendo shares rose a whopping 6% in Tokyo after the announcement, their biggest intraday jump since December 2020.
The highly anticipated release surpassed the first domestic sales of any Switch title, surpassing Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ 1.88 million units. Animal Crossing boosted Nintendo’s software sales during the pandemic and helped sustain demand for hardware for the now five-year-old platform.
“The sales volumes of new Nintendo titles are almost every time ahead of our predictions,” Citi analysts Junko Yamamura and Sachiho Uzaki wrote after the figures were released. “As things stand, the negative impact on games demand from a North American recession is limited.”
According to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad of Niko Partners, the debut was also a new high point for any game launch in Japan.
Splatoon 3 is part of a strong lineup of games that Nintendo has lined up for the holiday season, as it aims to extend the Switch’s lifespan beyond the typical window for a single console generation. The company is also betting on its Pokémon franchise to keep up the momentum with Splatoon.
Nintendo reported declining sales last month and hardware remains a pain point. Prolonged component shortages and high material costs this year have weighed on the outlook, although the company is sticking to its forecast of selling 21 million units of its handheld hybrid Switch console, down from 23 million from the previous year. Citi’s analysts wrote that “as of October we are on the brink of a supply recovery for Switch hardware”.