Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has taken to Animal Crossing's official Twitter feed to share the news that the 3DS's whimsical life sim Animal Crossing: New Leaf was selling out its initial shipment of 600,000 retail copies, and a further 200,000 digital downloads had already been purchased directly from the 3DS eShop or in the form of retailer download cards.
'Animal Crossing: New Leaf' Japanese cover ©All rights reserved - Nintendo
Should those shipment numbers translate into confirmed sales, they mean that New Leaf's Japanese popularity will have pushed it well beyond the 2012 debuts of New Super Mario Bros 2 (407,000 first week sales), and classic remake Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D (513,000 first week sales).
Certainly, the November 8 release has already more than doubled the launch performance of its DS handheld ancestor, 2005's Animal Crossing: Wild World, which had amassed 325,000 sales in a week.
Last year's Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, which have gone on to become two of the 3DS's best-selling games, opened at 424,000 and 343,000 sales apiece.
None have come close to this year's biggest launch for Nintendo handhelds: twin titles Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 totted up 1.5 million in two days, releasing as a DS cartridge compatible with both the 3DS and its even more widespread ancestor.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is expected in North America during the first half of 2013, with a European release yet to be announced.
Its Japanese release was supported by a special edition 3DS XL, decorated with an Animal Crossing motif pattern.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf on Twitter [Japanese] - twitter.com/doubutsuno_mori
Watch the North American trailer for Animal Crossing: New Leaf - youtu.be/895koqZvihI
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