Ever since Nintendo announced the now ridiculously popular Nintendo Switch, the Big N has managed to keep itself on top of the competition. Granted, the Nintendo Switch was released 4 years after Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, but that doesn’t take away any of the console’s merits.
Given how Sony and Microsoft spent most of last year gearing up for the release of their respective next-gen consoles, last year was a particularly great year for Nintendo, as the Kyoto-based company essentially had little to no competition when it came to console sales.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons, for instance, was Nintendo’s best-selling title of 2020 — as per the NPD Group’s Mat Piscatella’s annual report — and the third best-selling video game of the year behind Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War; the latter taking the number one spot.
As if that wasn’t enough, Piscatella’s report also revealed that the Nintendo Switch was the “best-selling hardware platform in units sold for a record of 24 consecutive months,” a feat which is quite impressive in and of itself.
Even better for the company, according to Ace Research Institute Senior Analyst Hideki Yasuda, “Nintendo has practically eradicated PlayStation” from the Japanese market, as in 2021 a staggering 99% of video game sales belong to Nintendo Switch, and only 1% to PlayStation 4.
In a recent interview with Nikkei, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa revealed that the focus of the company, in a completely opposite direction from Sony’s, is to make video games that are “fun”.
According to Furukawa, when Nintendo researches new technologies, they always focus on how their ideas need to be fun. As seen in the above charts, this philosophy has definitely paid off over the years.
While no one is arguing that the quality is there from a technical standpoint, most of Sony’s games focus more on narrative rather than gameplay.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is still great for those who like to experience movie-like stories. Unfortunately, an argument could made that several of the company’s games, such as the Naughty Dog developed The Last of Us Part II, only exist to push a political agenda over enjoyable game play.
In fact, the game’s creative director, Neil Druckmann, actually said “For us, with The Last of Us specifically (Uncharted is a little different in our creative approaches), we don’t use the word ‘fun.‘”
Other titles published by the company, like Sucker Punch’s superb Ghost of Tsushima, aren’t trying to make a statement. As such, many PlayStation owners have agreed that similar such games, especially those wherein the developers avoid killing its main protagonist for woke points, are better than most of Sony’s exclusive offerings.
Conversely, Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons not only avoided dividing its fanbase, but also went on to be one of the best-selling games of 2020.
YouTubers Kneon and Geeky Sparkles would comment on the situation.
Kneon stated, “It’s an interesting juxtaposition narrative to look at Nintendo versus Sony. Nintendo giving gamers what they want, focusing on fun, staying out of politics. And we know what Sony is up to. Going the opposite. One is vastly outperforming the other.”
What do you make of Nintendo’s sales? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!