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Forums - Sales Discussion - Japan: Comparison Peak Years Switch & DS

As I personally think that 2021 will actually be the hardware peak of the Switch,

I thought I would make a comparison between peak Switch & Nintendo DS

Famitsu Top 3 Hardware Results Japan:

  1. Nintendo DS 2006 - 8.358.730

  2. Nintendo DS 2007 - 7.167.372

  3. Nintendo Switch 2020 - 5.956.943

First Quarter Comparison and 2021 updates

Q1 Results:

  1. Nintendo DS 2007 - 1.930.291
  2. Nintendo Switch 2020 - 1.700.352
  3. Nintendo DS 2006 - 1.212.781
  4. Nintendo Switch 2021 - 312.121*

Top Week Q1: 

  1. Switch 2020, Week 12 - 392.576
  2. DS 2007, Week 1 - 344.953
  3. Switch 2021, Week 1 - 312.121
  4. DS 2006, Week 13 - 209.274

Biggest launches Q1: 

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizon (2020, Week 12) - 1.880.626 
  2. Brain Age 2 (2006, Week 1) - 416.124
  3. Yoshi Island DS (2007, Week 10) - 254.523

Top Selling Titles from Q1(>1M):

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizon ( Q1, 2020) - 1.880.626 / 6.472.485 
  2. Brain Age 2 (Q1, 2006) - 416.124 / 5.082.322
  3. Weak English Adult DS Training (Q1, 2006) - 231.770 / 2.228.912
  4. Yoshi's Island DS (Q1, 2007) - 254.523 / 1.053.833
  5. Professor Layton and the Curious Village (Q1, 2007) - 119.816 / 1.002.561

Best Selling Evergreens(Top 3): 

  1. Animal Crossing: Wild World (2006) - 1.177.606 
  2. Brain Age (2006) - 844.209
  3. Dragon Quest Monsters (2007) - 672.559
  4. Pokemon Diamond / Pearl (2007) - 671.687
  5. Pokemon Sword / Shield (2020) - 554.390
  6. Mario Kart DS (2006) - 542.610
  7. New Super Mario Bros (2007) - 485.797
  8. Ring Fit Adventure (2020) - 249.488
  9. Momotaro Dentetsu (2021) - 190.427
  10. Minecraft (2020) - 185.900
  11. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (2021) - 94.382
  12. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2021) - 83.853

2006: 2.564.425

2007: 1.830.043

2020: 989.778

2021: 368.662

As we can see last years amazing 1.7 million were mostly down to New Horizon, Pokemon Sword / Shield sold much lower compared to 2006 for example where there was lower hardware sold. Also there weren't actually a lot of games launched during Q1 2020 to continue momentum as Pokemon Mystery Dungeon was the 2nd best selling launch of 2020 with 219K sales only.

For 2021 there is several factors, as to why I think Q1 is poised to actually be the Top Result:

  • New Horizon, Momotaro & Ring Fit Adventure combined can reach 2 million physical+digital - meaning a higher evergreen result than 2007
  • There is Monster Hunter Rise at the end of the Quarter that will ensure that momentum is maintained 
  • Bowser's Fury, Olive Town and Bravely Default 2 are all games that will continue momentum into the Monster Hunter Rise launch


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I think Switch already peaked in 2020. It's gonna be a hard sell to surpass the 2020 total, which seemed to be around 28 million. Animal Crossing: New Horizons, catalogue titles, and more people staying home made 2020 a favorable year for Switch sales.

Even if Switch hopefully has a better selection of software this year, I don't think it's enough to surpass the units sold in 2020.



Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 125 million (was 73, then 96, then 113 million)

PS5: 105 million Xbox Series S/X: 60 million

PS4: 122 mil (was 100 then 130 million) Xbox One: 50 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

"Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind." - Guru Laghima

Switch should have a solid chance to sell more than 5 million in Japan in 2021, but I doubt it will be able to sell more than 2020. That would be pretty crazy.
But on the other hand we basically have no idea what is coming to switch for 9 month of the year^^ But I guess Nintendo and the 3rds would have to fire a lot of very heavy guns to sell more than 6 million in 2021.



For the Switch to sell more than this year, it's going to need a lot of things. A new model seems plausible, and that will drive sales, but I'm not sure that'll be enough. Monster Hunter will sell consoles in Japan like hotcakes, but they've already released Pokemon, AC, Youkai Watch, Momotaro Dentetsu... What other big hitters are left to release in Japan?



You know it deserves the GOTY.

Come join The 2018 Obscure Game Monthly Review Thread.

Wman1996 said:

I think Switch already peaked in 2020. It's gonna be a hard sell to surpass the 2020 total, which seemed to be around 28 million. Animal Crossing: New Horizons, catalogue titles, and more people staying home made 2020 a favorable year for Switch sales.

Even if Switch hopefully has a better selection of software this year, I don't think it's enough to surpass the units sold in 2020.

Not to get "political" but Nintendo benefited from shut downs and people fearing to go outside and interact with each other (I'm neither saying that's right or wrong as I don't want this to turn political). That was with no national shut down because of a split federal government, and many states (such as my own) had life more or less go on as normal except for our big city, so the videogame market in these more conservative areas probably didn't explode like the more shut down liberal areas.

Now we will have one party controlling Congress (granted with centrists having way more control now due to the closeness of the House and Senate, Joe Manchin may literally be the most powerful person in Congress, perhaps more powerful than Biden in the Executive branch) and that's the party that has been more on the shut down side. If Biden and all the Democrats in House/Senate agree a national shut down (which I can't imagine the moderates will want that) will happen, and if the SC doesn't rule it unlawful, then our isolation from 2020 will be nothing compared to 2021 and Switch could have an even more explosive year as now all the conservative states and areas will feel the impact of shut downs and feel more isolated.



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Dulfite said:
Wman1996 said:

I think Switch already peaked in 2020. It's gonna be a hard sell to surpass the 2020 total, which seemed to be around 28 million. Animal Crossing: New Horizons, catalogue titles, and more people staying home made 2020 a favorable year for Switch sales.

Even if Switch hopefully has a better selection of software this year, I don't think it's enough to surpass the units sold in 2020.

Not to get "political" but Nintendo benefited from shut downs and people fearing to go outside and interact with each other (I'm neither saying that's right or wrong as I don't want this to turn political). That was with no national shut down because of a split federal government, and many states (such as my own) had life more or less go on as normal except for our big city, so the videogame market in these more conservative areas probably didn't explode like the more shut down liberal areas.

Now we will have one party controlling Congress (granted with centrists having way more control now due to the closeness of the House and Senate, Joe Manchin may literally be the most powerful person in Congress, perhaps more powerful than Biden in the Executive branch) and that's the party that has been more on the shut down side. If Biden and all the Democrats in House/Senate agree a national shut down (which I can't imagine the moderates will want that) will happen, and if the SC doesn't rule it unlawful, then our isolation from 2020 will be nothing compared to 2021 and Switch could have an even more explosive year as now all the conservative states and areas will feel the impact of shut downs and feel more isolated.

I disagree that lockdowns are going to help video games sales this year. Locking people down (wrong or right) can only help video games sales up to a certain point. If this continues, people’s income will shrink to desperation levels and people will simply not have money to spend on video games. We are entering depression territory and,  pretty much any form of entertainment dos not do particularly good during such times. 



Valdney said:
Dulfite said:

Not to get "political" but Nintendo benefited from shut downs and people fearing to go outside and interact with each other (I'm neither saying that's right or wrong as I don't want this to turn political). That was with no national shut down because of a split federal government, and many states (such as my own) had life more or less go on as normal except for our big city, so the videogame market in these more conservative areas probably didn't explode like the more shut down liberal areas.

Now we will have one party controlling Congress (granted with centrists having way more control now due to the closeness of the House and Senate, Joe Manchin may literally be the most powerful person in Congress, perhaps more powerful than Biden in the Executive branch) and that's the party that has been more on the shut down side. If Biden and all the Democrats in House/Senate agree a national shut down (which I can't imagine the moderates will want that) will happen, and if the SC doesn't rule it unlawful, then our isolation from 2020 will be nothing compared to 2021 and Switch could have an even more explosive year as now all the conservative states and areas will feel the impact of shut downs and feel more isolated.

I disagree that lockdowns are going to help video games sales this year. Locking people down (wrong or right) can only help video games sales up to a certain point. If this continues, people’s income will shrink to desperation levels and people will simply not have money to spend on video games. We are entering depression territory and,  pretty much any form of entertainment dos not do particularly good during such times. 

During the Great Recession both the movie and gaming industry were doing well despite much of the economy being down overall.

Movies Really Are Recession-Proof | The New Yorker

Is the video game industry recession-proof? - CNET

When people are losing jobs/taking pay cuts, they stop spending on major purchases (like a new car/house/trip to Disney world) and apparently spend a large amount still on small purchases that can get them through it, mentally speaking, like video games and seeing a movie. Cheap escapism in the form of games has now done well with two recessions over the last two decades (The Great Recession and the Covid-19 Recession). Unlike that recession, people know this is a somewhat fabricated recession in the sense that if and once Covid-19 is manageable people expect to get their jobs back. We were doing record numbers as an economy with almost perfect unemployment (which is 3% and we were very close to that), then Covid-19 caused things to tank. The stock market being far healthier than 2008-2009 is also an indicator that people aren't taking Covid-10 as seriously economically, in the long run at least, as when the housing market burst. And even if they were, the evidence from 12-14 years ago shows people still spend money when its only dozens of dollars a purchase.



It will be interesting to see how it plays out this year.  I don't know if 2021 will beat 2020 or not, but I do think it will be close like +/- 1m.  2020 obviously benefitted from Animal Crossing and COVID.  I think 2021 will have a lot more games overall including some really great ones.  There is no chance of 2021 having anything that sells like Animal Crossing, but having several strong titles may have an even greater effect than Animal Crossing alone.  Also 2021 will very likely have stronger holiday titles. 

IMO, the biggest hurdle 2021 will have is the age/saturation point of the console.  Once a system gets past the halfway point in total sales, then sales simply start to slow down.  It doesn't even matter if the year has a bunch of great releases if most of the market already owns a system.  So the big factor is really how many potential people in Japan still want a Switch.  If that number is at least another 17m, then I think 2021 will sell more.  

As I said though, I don't know the answer, but I do think the two years will have fairly close sales.



Switch could have an even more explosive year as now all the conservative states and areas will feel the impact of shut downs and feel more isolated

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