Labo Gets off to a Great Start in Japan, but Doesn't Appear to be a System Seller Yet

Labo Gets off to a Great Start in Japan, but Doesn't Appear to be a System Seller Yet

Switch owners love them some cardboard, but the real question is "What about everyone else?"

Earlier today, Japanese digital entertainment analytics company Media Create released its data on video game sales for the week of April 16 through 22. The numbers indicate the Nintendo Labo is off to a strong start in Japan, though it seemingly failed to increase sales of the actual Nintendo Switch in any meaningful way.

4gamer.net published Media Create's sales numbers, which Resetera then translated and organized. The Labo Variety Kit sold 90,410 sets since its April 20 launch (making it Japan's best-selling game item this week), whereas the hulking Robot Kit is Japan's third best-selling game item with 28,629 sets sold.

God of War for the PlayStation 4 sold 46,091 copies; it's Japan's second best-selling game item this week. That makes Kratos the pasty white filling in a Nintendo sandwich. We're sure he's thrilled about his predicament.

It looks like Japanese Nintendo Switch owners are having a grand old time with Labo, even if the masses still need to be sold on the Robot Kit. So far, Labo is a big success. Except…

Except Nintendo intends for Labo to sell hardware, and Media Create's numbers suggest the arrival of the cardboard kits didn't do much to bolster the Switch's sales numbers. The Nintendo Switch sold 34,165 units this week, which is down a bit from last week's 36,308 units.

Labo's selling well, but Nintendo's really fishing for system sales.

A single week of sales numbers isn't indicative of much, however. On one hand, Labo may need time to get attention from the media and spread by word-of-mouth. There's still plenty of time for the cardboard kits to (metaphorically) catch fire the way the Wii and Wii Fit did in the Aughts. Conversely, there's also plenty of time for the Labo to drop out of the public eye and plunge into obscurity. But the worst-case scenario probably won't happen as long as people continue to dig into Labo and discover its layers of depth.

Did you pick up Nintendo's cardboard kits on launch day? We have Nintendo Labo guides that tell you everything you need to know about it.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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