The Nintendo Switch sold gangbusters across the board throughout most of 2020. This was despite the several months of shortages that it had to endure. Over in its home country of Japan, the system pulled off a notable feat: it was the only system to have seen a sales increase year-on-year.
According to statistics from Game Data Library, the Switch sold a considerable 6.26 million units throughout 2020. Compare this to 2019 where it sold 4.49 units million units for that year. This means that the hybrid’s sales have increased by a considerable 40%.
Meanwhile, every other console saw a decrease in unit sales across the board. Have a look at the chart:
Hardware year on year, final 2020 update.
SWI: 6.26m (+40%)
PS4: 555k (-54%)
3DS: 64k (-68%)
XB1: 3558 (-56%) pic.twitter.com/48uz0NQUpj
— Game Data Library (@GameDataLibrary) January 9, 2021
Holding its own
As you can see by this chart, the numbers for the other platforms are far lower. The PS4 fared the best, though its sales still dropped by 54%. The 3DS dropped by 68%, though this isn’t a huge surprise seeing that it was formally discontinued back in 2019 after nearly a decade on the market. The Xbox One dropped like a rock, selling only a measly 3,558 units (-56%) for the whole year.
This chart also shows us how many units for the next-gen consoles sold before the year wrapped up. Rather unsurprisingly, the PS5 reigns supreme with 265,782 units, leaving the Xbox Series X|S consoles together to account for only 31,558 units. Xbox has long had a rough time in Japan. These numbers may seem low for brand-new consoles, but keep in mind that, like everywhere else, units were very hard to come by. These numbers will no doubt increase throughout 2021 once production is able to normalize and units become frequently available. The Switch will have some formidable competition at that point, particularly from the PS5. However, it has an ace up its sleeve.
Japanese gamers have long had a bias towards portable systems compared to home consoles. Thus, the Switch’s fight for dominance in Japan will likely play out differently compared to other markets. If the heavily-rumored Switch Pro does come onto the scene this year, this will further bolster the hybrid’s sales.