The beginning of a new year is always a good time to take stock of what's happened in the previous 12 months, and Japanese publication Famitsu has done just that in publishing a report which sums up the state of the Japanese video game market in 2020.
The headline stats show that the market generated 376.38 billion yen, a 12.5% jump on 2019. Hardware sales were 185.66 billion yen, while software sales generated 181.72 billion yen.
Breaking down the figures a little more reveals that the Switch (along with the Switch Lite) was Japan's biggest-selling console in 2020, shifting 5,957,943 million units – an impressive amount when you consider the console was in such high demand for most of the year that stock shortages were commonplace.
This marks the fourth consecutive year that Nintendo’s system has outsold its rivals in the region. Amazingly, Japanese Switch hardware sales were 1.3 times more in 2020 compared to the previous year. Lifetime Japanese sales for the Switch (and Switch Lite) now total 17,340,374.
Nintendo's other console, the 3DS, only sold 62,761 units in Japan in 2020, but that was still enough to outperform both the Xbox Series X/S and the Xbox One in the same time period. Not bad for a dead console, eh?
In terms of software, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was Japan's best-selling game in 2020, shifting 6,378,103 copies. The rest of the top ten games is made up of Switch titles, with the exception of Final Fantasy VII Remake, which managed to shift 949,379 copies last year.
Japanese Hardware Sales 2020
- Switch (including Switch Lite) – 5,956,943 / 17,340,374
- PlayStation 4 (including PS4 Pro) – 542,647 / 9,290,890
- PlayStation 5 (including PS5 Digital Edition) – 255,150 / NEW
- 3DS (including all variations) – 62,761 / 24,558,908
- Xbox Series X/S – 31,424 / NEW
- Xbox One (including X/S) – 3,585 / 114,831
Japanese Software Sales 2020
1. [NSW] Animal Crossing: New Horizons – 6,378,103 / NEW
2. [NSW] Ring Fit Adventure – 1,591,366 / 2,087,005
3. [NSW] Momotaro Dentetsu: Showa Heisei Reiwa mo Teiban! – 1,233,023 / NEW
4. [PS4] Final Fantasy VII Remake – 949,379 / NEW
5. [NSW] Pokemon Sword/Shield – 892,456 / 3,880,590
6. [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 798,174 / 3,457,183
7. [NSW] Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – 560,122 / 4,013,174
8. [NSW] Minecraft – 556,982 / 1,702,921
9. [NSW] Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics – 519,649 / NEW
10. [NSW] Super Mario 3D All-Stars – 492,620 / NEW