Nintendo Switch Versus PS4: An Updated Japanese Sales Comparison

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The Nintendo Switch has only been out since March. It’s now June, and the console is clearly having one helluva run in Japan. Let’s see how the Switch’s Japanese sales numbers compare to another blockbuster console, the PS4.

This story was originally published on April 20, 2017. It has since been updated.


As Kotaku previously pointed out, Switch sales were on the up tick in March, nearly doubling during its fourth week out in Japan.

Via 2ch, here is how the Switch and PS4 sales compare during their first seven weeks on sale. (Note: The sales data is from Media Create. The character 週 means “week,” and the characters 完売 means “sold out.”)

[Compiled by 2ch]

As you can see, Switch sales are holding steady, with each shipment apparently selling out. In comparison, the PS4 sales were declining during the same window.


According to Hachima, website Game Sokuhou is also tracking Switch sales, comparing those figures to the PS4's sales numbers.

Here are both consoles’ first sixteen weeks on sale in Japan. (In Japanese, this list also points out game releases, like Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes for the PS4, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch, and Final Fantasy XIV for the PS4.)

[Image: Game Sokuhou]

The Switch has yet to settle in the six to eight thousand range.

These sale numbers are from Media Create. Dengeki Online uses numbers from ASCII Media Works instead, and according to their data, there were 43,850 Switch consoles sold during the most recent sales week. As Dengeki Online reports, that means in the Switch’s sixteenth week on sale, it sold over one million total consoles in Japan.


Game Sokuhou also charted the PS4 and Switch sales numbers, which are represented by dots and, as included cumulative sales, which are represented by arrows.

[Image: Game Sokuhou]

Update - June 28 2:06am: Reader Randy notes that the arrows are the cumulative sales.

The Switch is doing better than the PS4, but is it doing better than other Nintendo consoles? In its first 16 weeks on sale, the Wii sold 1.85 million consoles, and the Wii U sold 820,000 consoles in its first 16 weeks out. The Switch is doing better than the Wii U, but it hasn’t yet surpassed the mighty Wii.


The Switch sale numbers go up and down depending on how many consoles are available. It seems to be selling out every week, which is why people are still lining up in Japan when Switch consoles arrive in stores and why Nintendo apologized for now having enough machines to meet demand.

People say that the Switch still doesn’t have enough games. However, the games it does have are doing excellent. The latest Switch game to be released, Arms, is also doing incredibly well, coming in first on the June 12 to June 18 Japanese sales chart, selling 105,006 copies according to Dengeki Online. Second place was Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at 17,611 copies sold (576,318 copies sold total), while third place was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at 8,261 copies sold (490,086 copies sold total).


With Splatoon 2 right around the corner, I doubt the Switch will slow down in Japan anytime soon.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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About the author

Brian Ashcraft

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.