Japan embraces new consoles, Switch struggling

The latest sales have been released from Japan and PS5 and Xbox Series X continue to duke it out for the top console, while Nintendo Switch remains the top selling handheld.

Famitsu Weekly Sales 30-Nov to 6-Dec

Nintendo Switch – 204,000
Playstation 5 – 12,000
Xbox Series X – 2,000

While overall numbers might not look great for these new consoles, they are building steady momentum. Both systems only dropped 300% week on week, rather than the 600% drop from the previous week. This steady flatline growth should have the Nintendo Switch worried, as it sees a relatively mild increase of 46%. Ignoring all comparisons, 2000 people is also quite a big number for Xbox Series X. You couldn’t fit that many people in a room.

The top 10 best selling software chart paints a similar success story for the newly released consoles.

01./01. [NSW] Momotaro Dentetsu: Showa, Heisei, Reiwa mo Teiban! (Konami) {2020.11.19} (¥6.300) – 115.884 / 588.310 (-9%)
02./00. [NSW] Derby Stallion (Game Addict) {2020.12.03} (¥7.800) – 74.244 / NEW
03./04. [NSW] Animal Crossing: New Horizons # (Nintendo) {2020.03.20} (¥5.980) – 57.104 / 6.103.801 (+61%)
04./00. [PS4] Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy # (Koei Tecmo) {2020.12.03} (¥7.800) – 43.987 / NEW
05./03. [NSW] Ring Fit Adventure # (Nintendo) {2019.10.18} (¥7.980) – 40.176 / 1.919.987 (+12%)
06./00. [NSW] Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy # (Koei Tecmo) {2020.12.03} (¥7.800) – 30.643 / NEW
07./00. [PS4] Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition # (Square Enix) {2020.12.04} (¥4.980) – 28.612 / NEW
08./02. [NSW] Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity # (Koei Tecmo) {2020.11.20} (¥7.200) – 23.276 / 237.158 (-43%)
09./08. [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo) {2017.04.28} (¥5.980) – 23.180 / 3.312.638 (+58%)
10./00. [PS4] Densha de Go!! Hashirou Yamanotesen (Square Enix) {2020.12.03} (¥7.800) – 21.592 / NEW

The fact that a train simulator is the top selling game on Switch really shows the limited appeal of the system. Consumers have also decided that the Playstation family of consoles is where the JRPG userbase will remain, with a stunning win over the Switch version of Atelier Ryza 2. This crushing victory should solidify JRPG developer support on PS5 in the future.

Something you don’t see on this chart are the backwards compatible games that people are enjoying on their PS5 and XSX. If you combine the total sales of every game on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, it almost competes with Ring Fit Adventure. That’s a very impressive number of Xbox games in circulation being played on XSX right now.

We contacted a Microsoft spokesperson from Japan and they weren’t answering the phone, obviously very busy. Our next call was to a homeless shelter to talk to an Xbox Brand Ambassador who was big on Mixer.

“It’s unfair to compare the Xbox Series X launch to the Switch. The Switch just has too many games, it’s established. We are just getting started. When developers see how small our userbase is, they will flock to the system in the interest of balancing the gaming industry.”

While Nintendo Switch dominates the handheld market, it’s very clear that Sony and Microsoft have taken over the console market in a strong way. Both new consoles outsold the Wii U last week, Nintendo’s last primary console. It’s unknown whether Nintendo plans on competing in the console market again, but analysts speculate they don’t have the power or resources. As the industry grows bigger and bigger, Nintendo’s chances are fading. New games coming to XSX and PS5 including GTAV and Skyrim will only increase the pressure, with nothing but sequels planned for the Switch.

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