Nintendo Switch Took 87% Of 2020 Japanese Console Sales

There’s no doubting the global popularity of the Nintendo Switch at this point. The handheld console has not only outsold Sony and Microsoft’s consoles by a large margin, but so have Nintendo Switch exclusive games. For instance, 90% of sales for Just Dance 2021 in the UK have been for Nintendo Switch.

Not just that, but Switch exclusive games are at the forefront, with game sales being up by 123% compared to the same time last year. 15 of the top 40 games sold in the UK last week were Nintendo Switch exclusives.

But of course, Japan is a completely different ballgame. According to a Famitsu/Kadokawa report (via, the Nintendo Switch accounted for 87% of consoles sold in the country last year. The report indicates that with 6.85 million units sold in 2020, the console’s sales saw a rise of 30% compared to 2019.

The base version of the Switch sold 3.9 million units, while the Switch Lite sold just over 2 million units. For comparison’s sake, the PlayStation 4 sold 543,000 units, while the recently released PlayStation 5 has currently just sold over 255,000 units.

Famitsu data indicates that the Japanese gaming industry generated over $3.5 billion, a 12.5% increase as compared to 2019. The biggest reason for this growth was the 16.4% increase in console sales, which resulted in the generation of $1.8 billion. The sale of boxed games also rose by 9%. The report indicates that this is the first time since 2017 where both sectors of the market saw growth.

Switch exclusive games hold seven spots in the top ten boxed games in terms of sales. As expected, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is in first place with nearly 6.4 million copies sold since its launch in March. Ring Fit Adventure is at a far second with almost 1.6 million units sold. Ring Fit Adventure has seen a worldwide spike of sales ever since the lockdown was issued; perhaps as it’s a means to get some exercise while being confined at home. It sold only around 500,000 units in 2019, with the rest coming in 2020.

Konami’s train-based digital board game, Momotaro Dentetsu: Showa Heisei Reiwa mo Teiban, took third place with over 1.23 million copies sold in just six weeks. Final Fantasy VII: Remake (949,379 units sold) and Minecraft: Switch Edition (556,982 units sold) are the only other games in the top ten that aren’t technically Switch exclusives. Super Mario 3D All-Stars sits at tenth spot with 492,620 boxed units sold.

In 2020, the USA reached an all-time high in terms of video game spending. According to the NPD Group, the record setting year saw sales amounting to $56.9 billion, a 27% increase from 2019. While the launches Xbox Series X|S and the PlayStation 5 were major driving forces behind this, the Nintendo Switch was once again the star of the party as the best selling console.

The PS5 was in second place in terms of revenue generated, while the PS4 placed second with regard to total units sold. Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War was the best-selling game of December, and 2020 overall in the USA. Call of Duty was ranked as the best-selling video game franchise in the USA for a record 12th consecutive year.

NEXT: 10 Things We Want From A New Version Of The Nintendo Switch

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