All in all, 2019 seems to have been a very good year for the video game industry. With franchises like Call of Duty and Fortnite seeing billions in revenue and even Untitled Goose Game selling more than one million copies, it seems the industry had a lot of big successes under its belt. While the Nintendo Switch has proven to be a big success story for Nintendo, 2019 apparently continued that trend in a very big way. According to data from Famitsu (translated by Dual Shockers), the Nintendo Switch accounted for a staggering 76% of the console market in Japan for the year. What's more, 2019 was Nintendo's best year ever for console sales in the region, with an increase of 29%.
These numbers would be impressive enough regardless, but it really is amazing considering the state Nintendo was in just three years ago. While the company's famous "war chest" of cash kept them safe from any kind of significant financial trouble, the Wii U's dismal performance had many industry pundits prematurely pronouncing the company's time of death. Fast forward a few years and the Nintendo Switch is quickly proving to be one of the company's greatest successes.
A big part of that success has been Nintendo's ability to get third party publishers releasing games for the console. It's no secret that Nintendo has long struggled with getting third party products to release on their systems, with some publishers outright blaming fans for preferring to play games published by Nintendo. While Nintendo software remains a strong draw for the Switch, the system is proving that owners will play third party games. In fact, the console's portability likely makes Switch versions more appealing for some gamers.
As far as first party software is concerned, games like Pokemon Sword and Shield likely played a major role in the system's success last year. In 2019, the twin titles had the best month for the franchise ever. Titles like Super Mario Maker 2 and Luigi's Mansion 3 were also big draws for the console.
As of this writing, the Nintendo Switch has sold more than 41 million units worldwide. While that's still a ways off from Sony's 106 million PlayStation 4 units sold, it's still rather impressive, particularly since the industry leader's machine has been available on the market for more than double the amount of time.
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