It’s Friday, so it’s time for the weekly analysis of the Japanese market by Japan’s leading video game industry statistics firm Media Create.
We read that last week from December 18th to December 24th, software sales at retail were 1,761,000, which is 146.14% compared to the previous week. Total hardware sales were 432,000, which is 123.15% compared to the prior week’s tally.
The significant increase across the board combines with the previous week to form Japan’s busiest Holiday shopping period with 2,967 million units of games sold at retail (88.7% the previous year’s sales), and 784,000 consoles (130.32% of the tally in 2016). While software sales decrease for the second year in a row (but we have to remember that Media Create doesn’t count digital sales), hardware sales have increased significantly year-on-year.
The Switch isn’t the only console doing well for Nintendo. In the period between December 11th and December 24th 1,278,000 3DS games were sold, holding over 40% of the software market share. On the other hand, Switch sold 1,076,000 games. Yet, if we look only among top-20 games, the Switch had 9 titles for a total of 914,000 units sold, which is higher than the 3DS’s tally, with 6 games totaling 880,000 units. According to Media Create, it can be said that the Switch has become the focus of Japan’s “Holiday shopping battle.”
Looking at hardware, Switch sold 491,000 units un the two weeks between December 11th and December 24th, winning a market share of over 60%, and leading the console market while all other consoles have dropped under last year’s results. In addition to that, cumulative lifetime Switch sales have exceeded 3 million units (it’s currently at 3,178,100), and are close to surpassing in less than a year the Wii U’s lifetime sales (3,329,083) accumulated in five years on the shelves.
That’s certainly impressive, considering that the Switch has been affected by extreme shortages in Japan for several months, and just recently Nintendo is managing to put sizable amounts of units on the local shelves.