Last year was supposed to be the year of the next-generation consoles. While the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launched to huge success, the Nintendo Switch had yet another banner year; a better year, in fact, than any of its competition.
The Nintendo Switch was the best selling console in North America in 2020. It was the second-best year ever, behind only the Nintendo Wii in 2008, but new information also shows that the Switch had a remarkable year in Japan as well.
Japan is a very important location for video game sales, both in terms of software and hardware. Nintendo should be happy then, because it dominated 2020 across Japan. According to Gameindustry.biz, the Switch sold nearly 6 million units in the region in 2020, with December alone saw half a million Switch sales there. For comparison, the PS4 sold 543,000 units and the PS5 sold 255,000. Switch sales ended up totalling 87% of all console sales in Japan in 2020.
From a software perspective, Nintendo ruled the day in Japan as well in 2020. The top 10 best selling games were all Switch titles, with the only exception being Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the top spot with an amazing 6.4 million copies sold. Ring Fit Adventure may be a surprise at number two with 1.6 million copies sold. Meanwhile, Momotaro Dentetsu: Showa Heisei Reiwa mo Teiban! took the number three spot with 1.2 million copies sold. Games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Minecraft for Switch, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics, and Pokemon Sword/Sheild also made the list. Super Mario 3D All-Stars rounded off the top 10 with just under 500 thousand copies sold.
Amazingly, all of these numbers are physical copies, so digital sales are not included. Among some of the notable milestones, Ring Fit Adventure is the seventh Switch game to sell over two million copies. Momotaro Dentetsu: Showa Heisei Reiwa mo Teiban! has not had an entry in the series in a few years and managed to sell over a million units in just a month and a half.
Many are looking into the possibility of the Nintendo Switch Pro, but the other two versions of the Switch seem to be doing just fine. The original Switch sold 3.9 million units in Japan in 2020 and the Switch Lite sold 2 million. So while it is possible that Nintendo is working on a newer and more powerful version to compete with the PS5 and Xbox Series X, the numbers prove that it doesn't have to, at least not yet.
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