Japan: Famitsu sales for December 2018 (Top 5 Software, Top 3 publishers, Hardware)

Yesterday, Famitsu shared their latest monthly report on video games sales in Japan, covering December 2018 (and more precisely the period going from November 26th to December 30th, so 5 weeks in total).

To the surprise of no one, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was the best-selling game in December, with no less than 2 360 655 units sold at retail alone. It reached the 2 million units milestones in barely two weeks, and also is the best-selling Nintendo Switch game at launch (beating the record set by Splatoon 2, in July 2017).

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! / Let’s Go, Eevee! is far behind, with 431 785 units sold at retail during its second month, which is 47% less than during its launch month. This brings total sales to 1 253 677 units, and allows the game to become yet another million-seller on Nintendo Switch.

Super Mario Party saw a major increase in sales in December, thanks to the combined effect of the holiday season and the Joy-Con bundle. Sales jumped by 394%, bringing monthly sales to 417 255 units, and total sales to 764 853 units. If you still had doubt it could reach 1 million units…

Finally, Dragon Quest Builders 2 was the 7th and 8th best-selling game in December, but Famitsu do not specify which version sold more.

Here’s the Top 5 Software for December 2018, from Famitsu:

01./00. [NSW] Super Smash Bros. Ultimate # <FTG> (Nintendo) {2018.12.07} (¥7.200) – 2.360.655 / NEW
02./01. [NSW] Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! / Let’s Go, Eevee! # <RPG> (Pokemon Co.) {2018.11.16} (¥5.980) – 431.785 / 1.253.677 (-47%)
03./03. [NSW] Super Mario Party # <ETC> (Nintendo) {2018.10.05} (¥5.980) – 417.255 / 764.853 (+394%)
04./00. [PS4] Judgment <ADV> (Sega) {2018.12.13} (¥8.290) – 224.048 / NEW
05./00. [PS4] God Eater 3 # <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2018.12.13} (¥8.200) – 174.834 / NEW

This time, the Nintendo Switch grabbed 3 of the spots in the Top 5, which is a great performance considering there was only one release big enough to chart.

  1. NSW – 3
  2. PS4 – 2

Nintendo was the most successful publisher, with no less than 3 541 000 units sold. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate account for the majority of those sales, but even without it, Nintendo would still be the most successful publisher with well over 1 million units sold. The holiday season, and more precisely December, is one of the biggest months of the year for Nintendo, so it’s no wonder sales were so good (especially with a popular console like the Nintendo Switch).

What’s more, that number doesn’t even include Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! / Let’s Go, Eevee!, since Pokémon games are published by The Pokémon Company in Japan. If you add Pokémon games to Nintendo’s total, we end up with over 4 million units sold in a single month, which is a rather impressive number.

Here’s the Top 3 Publishers for December 2018, from Famitsu:

  1. Nintendo – 3.541.000
  2. Pokemon Co. – 478.000
  3. Bandai Namco Games – 427.000

The Nintendo Switch sold pretty well throughout 2018, but sales literally boomed during December. Famitsu report that total sales during that month topped 1 158 743 units, which is nearly 3 times as all the other consoles combined. That’s also 3 times more than November sales, further proving how important a month December is for Nintendo. Famitsu point out that it’s the 10th month in a row the console is the best-selling one in Japan.

Last year, the console nearly reached 1 million units, with 993 318 units sold in December 2017. But this year, it went on to sell over 1 million units, helped by the complete lack of shortages and a stronger line-up. It definitely would not be farfetched to point out that it could have sold even more if it was cheaper, though one might argue it’s quite the feat the Nintendo Switch sold as much as it did given its high price tag.

The Nintendo Switch ended up selling over 3.4 million units in 2018, which is only slightly better than in 2017. Total sales also came pretty close to 7 million units, a milestone that was eventually reached during Week 1 2019 thanks to strong New Year’s sales.

As for the Nintendo 3DS, it had a pretty lukewarm December with 76 159 units sold. In comparison, December 2017 sales topped 256 136 units, which already was a rather disappointing result. In the end, the handheld ended up selling a little over 500 000 units through 2018, which is about 3 times less than in 2017.

Nintendo consoles usually tend to see their sales drop pretty fast once their successor has been launched, and the Nintendo 3DS was no exception. Nintendo may not consider the Nintendo Switch the successor to its dual-screen handheld, but the market certainly does.

Source: Famitsu
Data compiled by Chris1964 (ResetERA)



Founder and main writer for Perfectly Nintendo. Tried really hard to find something funny and witty to put here, but had to admit defeat. Also known as Maintenance Guy by some. Twitter: @lite_agent

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