ByAna Valens, writer at
Writer and games critic. As seen at the Daily Dot, Waypoint, Kill Screen, Bitch Media, and ZEAL.
Ana Valens

As it turns out, the Nintendo Switch is popular in Japan. So popular, that the system has sold 500,000 units faster than the PlayStation 4 did when it first came out.

DualShockers points out that the Nintendo Switch sold 519,504 units in four weeks within Japan. Meanwhile, the PlayStation 4 only sold 439,810 units in four weeks, and it didn't break 500,000 until eight weeks in. In other words, the Nintendo Switch outsold the PlayStation 4 by a full month upon release.

DualShockers also points out that PlayStation 4 sales declined pretty rapidly in Japan after the console's initial weeks, but the Nintendo Switch isn't experiencing that same fate at all: despite the fact that there aren't that many games available for the Nintendo Switch at the moment. In other words, the Nintendo Switch is seeing some pretty stable sales right now compared to the PlayStation back in 2014.

Reggie is happy right now, for sure.
Reggie is happy right now, for sure.

Of course, that statistic is a little complicated. DualShockers also points out that the Switch isn't selling units quite as fast as the Wii U, which sold 557,901 consoles within just three weeks. But compared to the PlayStation 4 -- which was released two years later, and around the same timeframe -- the Nintendo Switch is selling pretty well.

That's good for Nintendo. And it's good for consumers, too.

What the Sales Tell Us About the Switch

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild definitely contributed to sales.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild definitely contributed to sales.

Remember earlier this year when Nintendo of America's president, Reggie Fils-Aime, stressed that the company was confident in their console's release? One thing Fils-Aime stressed was that the Switch "is a home console you can play anywhere, with anyone," making the console easy to develop for, easy to play on, and pretty approachable for both gamers and non-gamers.

"We see the reaction by consumers whether it's measured in Twitter trending topics or views of videos on YouTube or just the frequency with which I get called by old high school buddies that I haven't heard from in 30 years who are asking me how to get their hands on Nintendo Switch. We have communicated the proposition clearly and it is compelling."

- Reggie Fils-Aime, President, Nintendo of America

That's something reflected in the Switch sales in Japan. Japanese consumers clearly feel that the Switch is an interesting, compelling, and entertaining console to own. And while Japanese players are excited to play more games on the Switch -- DualShockers notes that the Splatoon 2 Global Testfire led to a jump in sales -- overall, buyers seem to see the Switch as a long-term investment for the time being. Plus, having The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild available as a Day 1 purchase certainly helped.

Yeah, you made the *click* sound in your head too, right?
Yeah, you made the *click* sound in your head too, right?

More importantly, the Switch's sales signal a shift in the Japanese console market. Buyers want to engage with a product that's intuitive and fun to use. They also want to purchase a console that has social elements, like local gaming, LAN capabilities, or controller sharing. The Switch is popular because it's a unique console, and Nintendo hit the nail on the head in their home country with the Switch, for sure.

The Switch doesn't need a lot of games right away if solid titles will come out. Consumers are more than happy to purchase the console as a future investment that will improve over time. How will the Nintendo Switch perform over time, though? No one knows quite yet. Check back as more information comes in throughout the year.

Do you think the Nintendo Switch is a major success or failure for Nintendo? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Latest from our Creators