PS4 Pro, PSVR, and No Man’s Sky manage to get peeks in on the regional charts as well.
Google has released the list of the top searched terms on their search engine globally in 2016, and it looks like the most searched video game related items worldwide this year included Pokemon GO, which is the landmark mobile AR game that released earlier this year to phenomenal success. Pokemon GO being on the list should not surprise anyone- it is the most successful mobile game of all time, after all.
What does surprise is the fact that Nintendo Switch is one of the top searched terms in 2016, too- it actually ranks extremely high among consumer tech related search terms, and is the only bit of video game related hardware to make it on the list. This seems to indicate that interest in Nintendo’s upcoming system is at an all time high- if Nintendo were to play it right, they could have a hit on their hands.
Regionally, the situation appears to largely be the same- in the US, Pokemon GO features as one of the most searched terms across categories (not including other Pokemon GO related searches, such as ‘What is Pokemon GO‘, ‘how do you play Pokemon GO‘, and ‘Pokemon GO memes’); that said, the highest ranked video game (as in, not an app) for the US appears to be Slither.io followed by Agar.io. Overwatch is next, predictably, and the controversial No Man’s Sky gets a peek in at number 9, too. On the hardware front, the Nintendo Switch is again, shockingly searched for a lot, featuring in the top 5, and the PS4 Pro manages to get in the Top 10 as well, although it is beaten to the punch by Nintendo’s NES Classic Mini. The Scorpio does not figure in the list.
Pokemon GO‘s dominance continues over on the UK charts, where, again, Nintendo manages to beat Sony on the hardware related searches too- though here, the search term is a more generic ‘Nintendo,’ and the Sony hardware figuring on the list is not PlayStation 4 Pro, but PlayStation VR.
Given the sample size and representation – this is a collation of Google searches, which means that nothing is ever going to get as representative of mainstream opinion as this will – this can be safely used to gauge interest in something by the mainstream public, beyond even the gaming enthusiast sphere, and… it sounds like Nintendo, in spite of having to suffer the ignominy of the Wii U’s failure, had a banner year this year, with Pokemon GO and the NES Classic Mini. Interest in their upcoming Switch appears to be at an all time high, with searches for it rivalling searches for Samsung and Apple devices, which means that if Nintendo somehow manages to not mess things up from here, they could have a legitimate bona fide hit on their hands again- they just need to play their cards very, very carefully.