If there’s one thing that is true about the Japanese gaming market, it’s that the nation is obsessed with handheld consoles – which is why the Switch does so well in this particular market, and not just in terms of moving millions of units, but also in terms of locking out 9 of the 10 best-selling games for 2020.
Another fact that is equally true of Japan is that it never really made it into the Xbox system family. This is illustrated by the fact that the Nintendo 3DS – essentially a dead console – managed to sell the entire family of Xbox consoles in Japan over the past year. These include Xbox Series X, Series S, and the original Xbox One (and its associated One S and One X variants).
Famitsu said all models of the 3DS sold 62,761 units in the past year, bringing the system’s lifespan to 24,558,908 units in Japan.
The newly released Xbox S and X series sold just 31,424 units, but it’s worth noting that the console didn’t hit the market until the end of the year and stock shortages were a factor (you could argue that the shortage of inventory had an impact on that too Sales of 3DS since production ceased last September, Xbox One sold 3,585 consoles, bringing total Japanese sales to 114,831.
Despite similar time and market restrictions, Sony’s PlayStation 5 sold 255,150 units in 2020, significantly outperforming the 3DS.
Even so, now is virtually any time to revisit our list of the best Nintendo 3DS games ever made – a celebration for the console that, even in death, can beat the next generation in Japan.