The Nintendo Switch has outsold the PS4 in Japan. Nintendo's current home console is doing exceptionally well, with Switch recently outselling the lifetime sales of the Nintendo 64, and Nintendo plans to sell 18 million units this fiscal year.
The Nintendo Switch's success can be owed in part to its unique attributes. A home console anyone can take anywhere is a concept that other console designs have not delved into. However, a console is only as profitable as its software library, which is another strength of the Switch. The Switch launched in 2017 with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and the acclaimed Super Mario Odyssey. 2018 had Kirby Star Allies, Octopath Traveler, and of course, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Nintendo's onslaught of games continues in 2019 with some other high-profile releases like Pokemon Sword & Shield, too, which is definitely a primary reason why the console is selling well today.
Famitsu recently updated its data for major video game console sales in Japan. From April 29 to May 12, the Switch sold 83,471 units. In that same period, the PS4 family (counting both the PS4 and PS4 Pro) sold 30,003 units, a small number in comparison. With these updated sales, the Switch has sold an estimated 8,125,637 units in Japan, beating out the entire PS4 family despite having been around for just two years.
Given that handheld consoles appear to be popular in Japan, it may not seem surprising that the Switch would be a big seller in that country. The notable aspect is that the Switch is just two years old, while the PS4 has been in circulation since 2014. It only took two years for the Switch to match and surpass the PS4 in sales. Although a number of factors are at play here — Japan's console market has been notoriously weak for years now, and it has completely ignored Microsoft's Xbox One for the better part of its entire life cycle — it's still an impressive feat from a device that was a gamble when it first released.
Nintendo arguably has Sony beat on the software front this year, which could see the company begin to make more headway in western markets too. We've already seen the release of Yoshi's Crafted World, and in June, the highly anticipated Super Mario Maker 2 will be released. Pokémon: Sword and Shield is coming later in the year, and Animal Crossing and Luigi's Mansion 3 are also releasing, although updates on those games have been scarcer. Simply put, Nintendo has positioned the Switch as the console to have for many. The Nintendo Switch will likely continue to dominate in Japan, and Nintendo could easily surpass its plan to sell 18 million units this fiscal year as well.