Attack of the Fanboy

Nintendo Switch Japan Sales Put the Console Out of Danger Zone

by Jose Belmonte


The newest Nintendo console has launched in Japan with good numbers that remain in line with the last console releases in the country. While tomorrow we will get the full weekly report by MediaCreate, the magazine Famitsu has given sales numbers in advance, which allows us to make an early analysis.

Nintendo Switch has sold 330.637 consoles in its Japanese debut, which is a solid number and it continues the trend of selling more than Wii U at launch, but less than Nintendo 3DS, that we saw in the United Kingdom. In Japan, Nintendo’s last home console sold 308.142 devices on its launch week in December 2012, while the previous portable sold 374.764 consoles on February 2011.

What this tells us is that, just like in other countries, Nintendo Switch is not over performing as an entertainment device, but it’s also well out of the danger zone, at least judging by how many fans they got interested on day one.

What this number also tells us is that future sales will probably depend on strong game releases rather than the public interest on the hardware itself. Take the PlayStation 4 for example, which launched with 322.100 sales on February 2014 and it kept getting numbers in the lower range until it had built a strong collection of Japanese titles. Nowadays it’s normal to see it leading the hardware rank.

That said, Nintendo Switch’s unique proposal of home console mixed with portable features makes the public’s behaviour hard to predict. Portables tend to sell better than home consoles in Japan, but so far the main game releases have a strong feel of home console-productions attached to them, with some as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Splatoon 2 being actual versions or sequels of Wii U games.

There is also the fact that by merging their home and portable devices, Nintendo needs essentially to make bigger numbers than what it used to make with just one console. Otherwise the move would have effectively shrunk the size of its business.

Come back tomorrow to check out the full hardware and software charts, which will give us sales information on Nintendo Switch launch titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or 1-2 Switch.

Recent Console Releases in Japan

  • Wii: 371.900
  • Nintendo 3DS: 371.326
  • PlayStation Vita: 321.407
  • Wii U: 308.600
  • PlayStation 4: 322.100
  • Nintendo Switch: 330.637



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