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Nintendo Switch arrests Japanese console market decline

Mario Kart 8 was the best-selling Switch game in H12017, beating Zelda despite much later release date

The success of the Nintendo Switch boosted Japanese hardware sales by 44% in the first half of 2017, and lifted the console market as a whole.

According to data from Famitsu, translated by Dr. Serkan Toto, console hardware and software sales generated $1.35 billion (‎¥153.2 billion) in sales between December 26, 2016 and June 25, 2017 - a 14.8% increase over the first half of 2016.

With software sales declining 4.6% to ‎¥76.7 billion ($675 million), the launch of Nintendo Switch made the difference. The Switch recently reached 1 million units sold in Japan, and the three months it was available boosted hardware revenue by 44% to ‎¥76.5 billion ($674 million). This has offered a respite from ongoing decline in the Japanese console market, which declined 6.7% between 2015 and 2016 to reach its lowest point in 26 years.

As Dr. Serkan Toto pointed out, in the first half of 2017 the Nintendo Switch was, "‎apparently enough to turn a very likely minus into a plus." With Super Mario Odyssey due for launch later this year, and Nintendo apparently doing all it can to get more Switch units into stores, the second half could be even more positive than the first.

Hardware sales for the first half of 2017 are below:

  • Nintendo Switch: 1,016,473 million units sold
  • Sony PS4: 877,630 (now at 4,799,246 total)
  • Nintendo DS: 872,620 (22,784,033)
  • Sony PS Vita: 260,296 (5,507,715)
  • Microsoft XBox One: 5,093 (78,041)

However, while the Switch led hardware sales despite being available for only four of the six months, the software chart was dominated by 3DS games. It's particularly notable that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was the best-selling Switch game, despite being released almost two months after Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

  • Monster Hunter XX for 3DS (1,640,005 units sold)
  • Pokemon Sun and Moon for 3DS (527,862)
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Switch (501, 614)
  • Zelda Breath Of The Wild for Switch (464,480)
  • Super Mario Maker for 3DS (397,656)
  • Biohazard 7 for PS4 (324,066)
  • NieR: Automata for PS4 (311,906)
  • Momotaro Dentetsu 2017 Tachiagare Nippon!! for 3DS (263,790)
  • Yokai Watch Sukiyaki for 3DS (215,297)
  • 1-2 Switch for Switch (200,807)

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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