Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Prediction: Japan will drive Nintendo Switch sales and sell more in the region than in the U.S.

As of right now, the 3DS is the first Nintendo console to have sold more in Japan than in the U.S.

10 Nintendo 3DS (3DS) 21.89 19.05 23.50 3.83 68.27

...And because the Switch is also a handheld, with virtually no competition in its respective sector, it would seem like a no-brainer that the console will be more popular in Japan than in the West.

However, I think the biggest takeaway from this is that the biggest games for the platform (sales-wise) will be Japanese games, not Western ones.  While the Switch will benefit from more third-party support, no matter what region it originates, I really think we should be keeping a Japanese perspective when looking at this console.  We shouldn't be surprised if some of the bigger AAA Western games skip the console, or if they do come to the console they fail to find an audience as big as it would on the PS4 or XBOX One. 

Nintendo has their home region in the bag, and I don't think we should be worried about the long-term prospects of the system if the Switch fails to secure every third-party game on the market.



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This prediction is not backed up by sales data. Switch is significantly ahead of 3DS in the US and slightly behind 3DS in Japan.

By the end of November 2011, 3DS had sold 200 thousand units more in Japan than in the US.
By the end of November 2017, Switch had sold 1 million units more in the US than in Japan.



I agree, in a sense.

The Switch is more expensive than the 3DS right now and is correctly tracking right below it.

We can just imagine it's sales with a price cut.



No way, Japan pop is older then before and dropping.

If all thing aligned the same. Switch would still sale less than the predecessor.



This wont happen. The Switch is actually selling well in America. If we look at the data the Switch American numbers outsell Japan numbers by quite a bit every week. Also don't be surprised when western publishers start putting some of their games on the Switch. 3DS had problems that the Switch does not have.



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High Japan sales are a great early indication of a system's future success across the board. Could Switch be different and basically be held up by Japan sales the entire lifecycle? I guess it is possible, but we will see. Switch is..... different. :)



cosmic_drift said:

...And because the Switch is also a handheld, with virtually no competition in its respective sector, it would seem like a no-brainer that the console will be more popular in Japan than in the West.

If Switch had the same form factor as 3DS, and the handheld market looked the same now as it did when 3DS launched, then you could make that assertion.
Whether Switch will succeed with this or not, what makes Switch different from 3DS will be an important factor.

Last edited by Hiku - on 27 December 2017

There's a strong line of thought in this thinking, but by the time the US sales start to taper off it'll be over 10M in the State alone. That's enough for many publishers to take a swing at it.



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yeah, thought the same, Japan sales is a kind of insurance that JRPGs is the least you can get out of the 3rd parties

still, Western support will take it to new levels, all the Switch needs is GTAV/VI, then watch the US sales surpass Japan, and the Switch becoming the next Wii or more

even the WiiU would still be alive if it had GTAV...



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cosmic_drift said:

As of right now, the 3DS is the first Nintendo console to have sold more in Japan than in the U.S.

10 Nintendo 3DS (3DS) 21.89 19.05 23.50 3.83 68.27

...And because the Switch is also a handheld, with virtually no competition in its respective sector, it would seem like a no-brainer that the console will be more popular in Japan than in the West.

However, I think the biggest takeaway from this is that the biggest games for the platform (sales-wise) will be Japanese games, not Western ones.  While the Switch will benefit from more third-party support, no matter what region it originates, I really think we should be keeping a Japanese perspective when looking at this console.  We shouldn't be surprised if some of the bigger AAA Western games skip the console, or if they do come to the console they fail to find an audience as big as it would on the PS4 or XBOX One. 

Nintendo has their home region in the bag, and I don't think we should be worried about the long-term prospects of the system if the Switch fails to secure every third-party game on the market.

uh the 3DS has been shoddy 3rd party support from Japan compared to the DS before it.