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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - "Nintendo users only buy Nintendo games on Nintendo systems" How true was this?

For myself the handheld option of the Switch makes a difference.

Slower paced games like Turn-based RGP's, Tactical and puzzle games I prefer to play handheld. So even if such a game would be available on another platform I play them on Switch.

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Zippy6 said:

This discussion came up before, had an old table about this I've just updated with the previous fiscal year.

Best case scenario for Third Party on Switch is that they're responsible for 54.5% of software sales, in reality it will be less than this as explained by the ^ comment in the image. PlayStation software over the past 6 fiscal years third party has been responsible for 83.5% of software sales.

So Switch users making a game purchase are generally pretty 1:1 on whether they buy either a first party or third party games, whereas on PlayStation it's more like 4:1 in favour of third party.

If we use these percentages and the tie ratio for the consoles we get the following:

The average PS4 user has purchased 10.1 third party games and 2 first party games.
The average Switch user has purchased 4.65 third party games and 3.9 first party games.

But Switch users are still buying a decent amount of third party games even if the percentage share is much less. There's more to be said about the distribution of third party sales. PlayStation get's multiple third party titles release every year that will sell over 5m copies on the platform, the same cannot be said for Switch. Switch users do buy third party titles but these sales are more spread over many AA and Indie titles. The Switch does not get AAA third party system sellers bar the occasional title like Monster Hunter Rise. A 10m third party seller on a Nintendo platform is practically unheard of. So it's more the big blockbusters that give this perception. Either Nintendo doesn't get them (CoD, RDR2, GTAV, Cyberpunk, AC, Elden Ring) or it gets an inferior version that sells worse (Fifa, Hogwarts).

Very good data, thanks

Must add Switch software sales don't count digital-only games, mostly indies I think. They are cheap and would likely increase the third party share on Switch to at least 5 third party games

Obviously third parties sell a ton of games on Nintendo when Nintendo systems sell well.

It's just that third parties generally don't put their new AAA games on Nintendo these days so the mega selling games are all first party. But there's tons of indie and third party games that sell well, just not like 10-20 million.

But you can blame third parties for this. Nintendo is the best game maker in the world, so for third parties to compete with all the first party mega sellers on Nintendo, they'd have to actually bring their new AAA games to Nintendo's systems, but they don't. When it comes to AAA third party games Nintendo pretty much gets either last gen ports, two gens ago ports / remasters, or current gen games that are 6 months late or a year late or two years late so those games can't possibly compete with the sales they had when they were brand new.

I'd say for $60 games, people mostly buy first party on Nintendo simply because those are the best games on the system and are only on Nintendo and are brand new instead of being launched as an afterthought after the other versions. But the <$60 range, and specifically probably the <$40 range, is where third parties absolutely flourish on Nintendo.

I have 55-60 Switch games. I think ~24 of them are first party, most of those cost $60, though some I got on sale. Which means I have >30 third party games, probably none of which were $60 are were mostly $10 - $20 dollars, and probably most of those I bought on sale. So majority of my games are third party, but I have a lot of the 10/20/30+ million selling first party games.

It was true for me until 3DS and Switch.

Although depending on if there is b/c or not on the next nintendo system - if there is , I'll continue but if not, I wont be buying anymore third party titles unless they are exclusives.

Well, I have a simple answer. If I look at this list for best-selling PS4 titles:

And I remove the Sony first party, we have the following games:

  • GTA V
  • multiple CODs
  • RDR 2
  • multiple FIFAs
  • Fallout 4
  • Star Wars Battlefront
  • Battlefield 1
  • Minecraft
  • Destiny

Of these games only some FIFA and Minecraft released on Switch (a successful console in difference to the WiiU). FIFA releases on Switch as gimped Legacy Edition, so it is understandable it doesn't do as well. And Minecraft does actually do well on Switch. So my conclusion is: if the best-selling 3rd-parties aren't releasing on Switch, they obviously can't sell. Even if some release late or gimped versions, customers aren't stupid enough to buy them. And if customers are trained long enough to n ot expect 3rd-parties on a Nintendo console, they will have other consoles or PC for these games and if for some reason a 3rd-party game is releasing and in good shape, they still will opt for the version on a platform with more consistent 3rd-party support. There you have it.

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As an owner of PS5 and Switch, this is just factually true for me. If I can choose to play it on a console running at higher resolution, better graphics, and stronger, more consistent fps, then I will absolutely take up that opportunity.

All I can say is, that there is no sufficiently enough prepared data to use to give a definite answer.
However, asking the people here about their peferences is bound to give wrong results, as we are enthusiasts and therefore do not correspond to the average.

My feelings tell me that there is some truth to it though, at least across all games.
I expect certain genres to sell close enough to the competition that these sales can be considered equal
And then I expect there to be genres which sell much worse... not only relative to the install base, but also in absolute numbers.
So yeah.. I believe that this statement is true for some types of games and false for others.
I do also think however, that, barring 1st party games, there are no categories of games that sell better on a Nintendo system than on others.

Last edited by TeachMeHisty - on 14 January 2024

Pretty true, but obviously, there are exceptions. Nintendo games are the main reason to buy Nintendo consoles. I think everyone would agree with that. Even on the NES where there was more third-party support than you could ever dream of, kids wanted them mostly for Mario. If I were Nintendo, I would think of it as a compliment, rather than an insult.

Mostly true for myself at least.

I bought a lot of third-party / multi-platform games for Switch to have them available "on the go" (over 150 third-party games, only 17 first-party-games).

But since I have a Steam Deck, I only buy the following Switch games:

  • Nintendo first-party games
  • third-party Switch exclusives (f.e. Astral Chain)
  • if a Switch version is better than the PC version (f.e. "The House in Fata Morgana")
Last edited by Conina - on 14 January 2024