Nintendo Switch sales dominated Japan’s console market in 2020

Nobody came close to the Japanese developer.

Nintendo Switch sales dominated Japan's console market in 2020

Image via Nintendo

Nintendo enjoyed near-total domination of the Japanese console market in 2020, according to new sales data.

As reported by Famitsu, and translated by GamesIndustry.biz, Nintendo Switch sales accounted for a monstrous 87% of the total market last year. Out of 6.85m consoles sold in 2020, nearly 6m of that number comprised of Switch units — a monumental 86.9% of the total market. The normal Switch is thought to have made up the bulk of those sales, with 3.9 million units shipped than 2 million Switch Lite consoles.

For comparison’s sake, Sony’s PlayStation 4 shipped 542,000 units, PlayStation 5 shifted 255,150 pieces of hardware, and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S only sold a paltry 31,424 units. The Nintendo 3DS even outstripped Microsoft’s new line of consoles, with 62,761 units taken up by gamers.

The Switch’s unparalleled success is largely down to the launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons in March 2020. The life sim title shipped 6.37m copies in its first nine months on the market and, while not every new Switch owner will have picked up a copy, its release helped boost Switch sales in Japan to 17.3m across its three-year lifespan.

Ring Fit Adventure was the closest competitor to New Horizons, with the fitness-based game shipping 1.6m copies. Overall, the Japanese games market is believed to have enjoyed a 12.5% increase in income generated compared to 2019, with revenue topping $3.5bn.