Nintendo dominate Japanese game sales in 2020Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Japanese gamers continued to adore the Nintendo Switch, as the handheld console shifted almost 6 million units in Japan last year.
While the late release and low supply of Sony and Microsoft's next-gen consoles would make the Switch more appealing, it's the fantastic sales performances of Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Super Mario 3D All-Stars that led the way for Nintendo.
According to Famitsu data (via GamesIndusry.biz), Switch consoles accounted for 87% of all consoles sold in 2020 (6.85 million were sold in total). The standard Switch sold 3.9 million units while the Lite managed 2 million.
Overall, Japan's game market was up 12.5% year-over-year, bringing in $3.5 billion in 2020, with the biggest growth being seen in console hardware, up 16.4% to $1.8 billion. Famitsu also stated that boxed games sales grew 9% on the previous year, bringing in £1.75 billion, the first time both markets have grown in Japan since 2017.
Unsurprisingly, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the best-selling boxed game of the year, shifting just short of 6.4 million physical copies sold. To put that into perspective, Ring Fit Adventure came second and only managed 1.5 million copies.
Coming out right at the start of lockdown, in March 2020, a time that feels so much longer than a year ago, New Horizons was exactly what so many of us needed. The sense of community which arose from the game was one of our highlights of 2020 and, with good reason, it was one of the games of the year.
So with such a stellar year in Japan - we know from previous financial updates that Nintendo was having a very good 2020 - what's next for the company? We've had rumours of a 'Switch Pro', but with no main Nintendo Direct since 2019 (503 days but I'm not counting), nothing is known past the next few months.
Kicking off 2021 here at The Digital Fix on Nintendo Switch, we've got reviews of Ubisoft's classic beat-em-up Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game - Complete Edition, and Team Meat's latest entry into the world of 'indie platforming madness' with Super Meat Boy Forever. And finally, we've got our thoughts on the latest demo for Capcom's Monster Hunter: Rise.