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The Switch is the first console to sweep Japan’s game sales chart in 33 years

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The Nintendo Switch isn’t struggling to compete against the PlayStation 5 on its home turf in Japan… far from it. Game Data Library, Axios, and IGN report that every game on Famitsu’s August 8th weekly Top 30 chart was a Switch title, ranging from Super Mario Maker 2 in 30th place to Minecraft at the top. It’s reportedly the first time a platform had swept that chart since November 1988, when Nintendo’s Famicom (the basis for the NES) dominated the list.

Nintendo has controlled the Japanese games chart with multiple platforms before. In the early 1990s, the Famicom, Super Famicom (aka Super NES), and Game Boy cemented their position. It’s much harder for a single system to rule the rankings, though.

There’s also a sharp contrast with the US. While the Switch has outsold rival consoles in the country and frequently thrives in-game sales (Skyward Sword HD was July’s best-selling game), it typically faces stiffer competition from the PlayStation and Xbox ecosystems.

Although the titles reflect both Nintendo’s influence and local tastes, there wasn’t a direct explanation for the sweep. Most of the games are either Nintendo’s (including Skyward Sword and Mario Kart 8) or come from franchises long in Japan, such as Monster Hunter, Taiko no Tatsujin, and Dragon Quest. It also helps that Japan is in the grips of its largest-ever COVID-19 pandemic wave — people may be buying Switch games to keep them and their kids entertained at home.

Whatever the reason, the feat suggests why Nintendo isn’t rushing to upgrade the Switch beyond modest revisions. Its hybrid console is still one of the hottest game systems four years after launch, even in the face of technically superior alternatives.

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About author
Tristan McCue is a 26-year-old junior programmer who enjoys reading, binge-watching boxed sets, and appearing in the background on TV. He is smart and friendly, but can also be very evil and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian. He has a post-graduate degree in computing.
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