The PS4 recently crossed the 7 million units sold mark in Japan- a hard fought battle for the embattled home console in a country that has largely moved on from home consoles, and which even the full backing of Japanese third parties could not help perform better.
In a year and a half, the Switch is within touching distance of the total numbers the PS4 managed to sell in four and a half; as of this week, the Switch will have crossed 5 million units sold, Famitsu reports, which is over two thirds of the 7 million that the PS4 has managed. The Switch will have achieved this with minimal assistance from Japanese third parties- after all, beloved Japanese franchises like Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, Metal Gear Solid, Street Fighter, Tekken, Resident Evil, Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts, and more, all showed up on the PS4, not on the Switch.
To be fair, the Switch had some benefits and advantages of its own- thanks to its hybrid portable nature, it is fundamentally more appealing to the Japanese market, which prefers mobility for its games. It’s had the full backing of Nintendo’s own first party games, which sell far beyond any other game in the country (well, most of them). Plus, the Switch was cheaper than the PS4 was, which has also helped.
But it’s still impressive just how amazingly well the system has managed to do with so little help. Now to see if Japanese third parties wake up and begin to support the system at last, especially given how the Switch has reversed a decade of decline in the Japanese market.