3 Of Japan’s Biggest Launches Are All Nintendo Switch Games

The 3 best-selling video games opening weekends in the country are all Nintendo games.

Japan is home to some of the biggest companies in the gaming world, including Nintendo and Sony. Hence, it’s no surprise that it’s a major market on the planet and the competition is always tough. But, there is only one clear winner and that is Nintendo as the 3 biggest video game launches of all time in Japan are Nintendo Switch games.

The company extended the record it already holds with the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. In its opening week, the game sold 4.05 million copies, setting a new record in the country. But even before this, Nintendo already had the biggest launch in Japan with a game that came out this year.


Major Takeaways:

  • Nintendo Switch games have the 3 biggest video game launches of all time in Japan.
  • Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, Splatoon 3, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons make up this list.
  • Only one PlayStation game makes the top 5 with Final Fantasy VIII, while Nintendo makes up the top 4.

Splatoon 3 was released in the September of this year and broke the record for the fastest launch in Japan, only beaten by the Scarlet/Violet launch. It sold 3.45 million copies in its opening weekend, making it the biggest launch in the series. Culturally, the series is very significant in Japan and this only backed Nintendo’s dominance in the country. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons holds the No.3 spot now in the biggest game launches in Japan ranking. It held the No.1 spot for many years as it sold 2.68 million copies on its launch weekend in the country. Only Splatoon 3’s mega launch dethroned the Nintendo Switch phenomenon from the top spot.

The biggest launches in Japan being all Nintendo Switch games proves the dominance of both the company and the console. After the dismal commercial performance of the Wii U, everyone wanted to see what Nintendo would do. But, the company exceeded all expectations with the Switch this generation and made waves no one saw coming.

Its commercial and critical success is visible in the biggest launches in Japan’s history, as they are all Nintendo Switch titles. When you look beyond the top 3, Nintendo’s dominance is still there at No.4 with Pokemon Black and White. It sold 2.64 million copies on the Nintendo DS in 2010, further displaying the dominance of Nintendo in the country.

PlayStation only gets one spot in the top 5, with 1999’s Final Fantasy VIII. The game is the 5th biggest launch of all time in the country with 2.5 million opening weekend sales. But, one of the biggest companies in the gaming world getting only one spot in its home base is ridiculous. 

What makes this achievement even more impressive is that Nintendo Switch launches beat PlayStation when it was at its peak. PlayStation 4 was putting out amazing games every year from 2017 to the present, with a next-gen upgrade in PlayStation 5 to help with sales. However, Nintendo games still easily beat all of their launches, and no present-age PlayStation game is on the list.

All of this is just proof that Nintendo will remain the chosen one and the publisher to beat in Japan. It’s hard to see anyone beating the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet opening week anytime soon. But our money is on another Nintendo title, probably Splatoon 4.

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Pierre485

Ahmed Mansoor


Your average video games enjoyer with a deep passion for single-player adventures who writes about his favorite hobby.

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