By Heath | November 12, 2012 at 5:36 am
Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata took to Twitter to apologize for shortages (and stealthily announce the success) of the 3DS’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf in Japan. The first shipment of the game included a whopping 600,00 copies, yet all over Japan, the game has been sold out. The shortage has led the Japanese to do something extremely uncharacteristic of this market: download it. On the PSN and Xbox Live Marketplace, the usual estimate of download sales is around 10% of the retail number, but not with New Leaf. According to several Tweets by Iwata, the game has sold 200,000 digital copies. He doesn’t mention if that number combines straight-up e-store downloads and the download cards sold in stores, or if it’s just the cards, but either way, that is beyond huge, especially for Japan.
In the above Tweet, Iwata says that in the first half of this week, an additional 100,000 units are on their way to stores, and later, another 200,000 are coming. According to several shops I visited here in the Land of the Rising Sun, even a lot of those have been reserved. One told me they couldn’t guarantee a copy within this week.
With numbers like this and Christmas yet to come, it’s safe to say the 3DS has found its next million-seller, and it’s easily on track to his that by the end of the year.