Tomodachi Collection: New Life has been merrily selling a huge number of copies in Japan, with the title still top of the Japanese software charts — at the time of writing — with overall sales of 758,575. While not a particularly familiar brand in the West, Nintendo's quirky Mii-based life-sim is big business in its homeland.
One of the key gameplay components is forging relationships between characters so that they get married, have children and so on; some gamers have found that, for the first time, it's possible to do these things with a same-sex couple. There's a restriction, however, as this only seems to applies to men — women can't have a family or get married in the same way.
It's being reported in some quarters that this new feature is helping to drive additional sales, according to chatter on the web, while there are claims that a Nintendo representative has said that a patch will be released to deal with the 'bug'. It'll be interesting to see whether this prospective patch allows women to pursue same-sex families, or whether the intention is to remove the option entirely.
Gay rights are, at the present time, a highly politicised and important issue around the world, and are becoming increasingly relevant in gaming; titles such as Mass Effect 3 provide same-sex relationship choices to players. Nintendo's actions with this feature are likely, as a result, to attract some attention. If any further details are revealed, we'll keep you posted.