Each week, Japanese company Media Create gathers data from the console gaming industry and shares the sales numbers for each system in the country. Today, the latest figures confirm an important milestone for Nintendo: as of March 26th, Switch unit sales in Japan have hit 520,000 (519,504 units precisely). This makes the Nintendo Switch a clear success in BigN’s homeland – just as it is in Europe and North America – but most importantly, it puts the system ahead of the PS4.
Indeed, Sony’s latest system – launched on February 22nd, 2014 in Japan – sold 439,810 units in the same four weeks period, and took seven weeks in total to overtake its first 500k units. Where the PS4 sales declined quickly due to the lack of big Japanese games, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t show any slow-down in its sales. Looks like Nintendo’s strategy to spread the release of first-party games (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe next month, Splatoon 2 in Summer, etc) might be the right move.
However, it’s interesting to note that the two consoles don’t seem to affect each other’s sales for now. The Nintendo Switch hybrid nature is placing it in a different market and the Japanese might see the new system more as a handled than a home game console. If so, we’ll rapidly see an impact in the Nintendo 3DS sales.
This tremendous success of the Nintendo Switch in Japan, and worldwide, is of course related to the masterpiece that is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Reports from SuperData say that the game is tied to 89% of Switch sales. The game even drove a bump of Wii U sales in North America, following stock shortages of the Switch.
With an undoubtedly confirmed success of the Nintendo Switch, Kyoto based company’s next challenge is to maintain the good sales throughout the year, and why not overtop the yearly sales of the Wii.