Bigger than the PS4… in Japan at least

There are now more Switch consoles in Japan than there are PS4s, as Nintendo’s formats confirms it dominance but faces an uncertain future.

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Since it’s the second biggest market worldwide for console games, after the US, the Switch outselling the PlayStation 4 in Japan is a pretty big deal.

Despite the PlayStation 4 having a three-year head start total lifetime sales in Japan now stand at 8,077,756, compared to 8,125,637 for the Nintendo Switch.

Since Japan is the only country to offer regular sales data it’s harder to compare figures in the rest of the world, but the global total for the Switch is well behind Sony’s console, at 34.74 million to 92+ million.

The Switch’s Japanese success is important not only in terms of sales but because Nintendo, much more than Sony, is always heavily influenced by the preferences of its native market.

So, the increasing dominance of the Switch is likely to not only embolden Nintendo on its current course but also convince more Japanese companies to support it, despite many of them being relatively lukewarm towards the format so far.

But the news is also interesting in the context of yesterday’s annoucement of collaborations between Microsoft and Sony for the next generation of consoles.

Although Microsoft is rumoured to be in talks with Nintendo it’s still hard to imagine the two companies working together all that closely, and yet the rise of cloud gaming risks leaving Nintendo at a major technological disadvantage.

At the launch of the Switch, Nintendo suggested that the console would have a longer lifetime than normal, of perhaps eight to 10 years. Its success in Japan makes that more likely than ever, but how it will adapt in the face of Sony and Microsoft’s next generation plans remains to be seen…

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