Nintendo Switch dominates Japan’s console and physical games market in 2020

Nintendo held 87 percent of console sales and nine of the 10 top-selling physical games this year.

Screengrab via Nintendo

The Nintendo Switch had a successful 2020 worldwide, but the hybrid console utterly dominated the Japanese market in a way that puts other regional sales to shame.

Throughout the year, Nintendo sold a total of 6.85 million Switch units, accounting for 86.9 percent of all console sales in Japan, according to Japanese games publication Famitsu. The regular Switch model sold 3.9 million units, while the Switch Lite surpassed two million units too. Overall, this is an increase of around 30 percent from 2019’s sales for the console.

The second-highest seller was the PlayStation 4 at 543,000 units, while the PS5 barely hit half of that at around 255,000 units. Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S only sold 31,424 units, which was even beaten by Nintendo’s 3DS, which doubled that number at 62,761 units sold. 

Nintendo dominated the physical games market in Japan, too. Only one non-Switch title, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII: Remake, broke into the top 10 list for 2020.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was easily the highest selling game. More than 6.3 million units sold in total, of its recorded 26.04 million units as of Sept. 30, came from Japanese physical sales. Ring Fit Adventure took second at just under 1.6 million units and Konami’s train-based digital board game Momotaro Dentetsu: Showa Heisei Reiwa mo Teiban! was the last game to hit one million units at 1.2 million. 

The Japanese games industry as a whole grew by 12.5 percent in 2020, generating around $3.5 billion in revenue, according to Famitsu.