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Switch vs 3DS in Japan Sales Comparison - November 2020

Switch vs 3DS in Japan Sales Comparison - November 2020 - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 11 January 2021 / 2,604 Views

The VGChartz sales comparison series of articles are updated monthly and each one focuses on a different sales comparison using our estimated video game hardware figures. The charts include comparisons between the 7th generation and 8th generation platforms, as well as comparisons within the 8th generation. There are articles based on our worldwide estimates, as well as the US, Europe, and Japan.

This monthly series compares the aligned Japanese sales of the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS.

Switch Vs. 3DS Japan:

Gap change in latest month: 46,000 - Switch

Gap change over last 12 months: 2,736,422 - Switch

Total Lead: 445,944 - 3DS

Switch Total Sales: 16,420,703

3DS Total Sales: 16,866,647

November 2020 is the 45th month that the Nintendo Switch has been available for in Japan. During the latest month, the Switch closed the gap to the 3DS by 46,000 units when you align the launches. In the last 12 months, the Switch has outsold the 3DS by 2.74 million units. The 3DS is currently ahead of the Switch by 445,944 units.

The 3DS launched in February 2011 in Japan and the Nintendo Switch launched in March 2017. This does mean the normal holiday periods and the Japanese Golden Week holiday for the two consoles are off by one month.

The 45th month for the Switch is November 2020, while for the 3DS it is October 2014. The Switch has sold 16.42 million units, while the 3DS sold 16.87 million units during the same timeframe.

The 3DS has sold 24.64 million units lifetime in Japan through November 2020. The Switch is currently 8.22 million units behind the lifetime sales of the 3DS.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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Darwinianevolution (on 11 January 2021)

It's remarkable that the 3DS has kept its lead over the Switch for so long. If Youkai Watch had been as strong on the Switch as it was on the 3DS, this wouldn't have been the case.

  • +6
SvenTheTurkey Darwinianevolution (on 11 January 2021)

Yeah, but I think around week 50 the switch is going to pass it. The 3ds is unlikely to ever recover the lead. Monster hunter should definitely help the switch this year.

  • +2
Darwinianevolution SvenTheTurkey (on 11 January 2021)

Oh, absolutely. But considering the 3DS is the lowest selling Nintendo handheld and had a lot of problems at the start of its lifecycle, keeping such close sales and even beating the Switch for a while is an accomplishment for the last pure handheld to date.

  • +3
Kakadu18 Darwinianevolution (on 11 January 2021)

In Japan the Gameboy Advance is the lowest selling Nintendo handheld with just 16.9mil lifetime. The Switch is at 17.6mil now. The 3ds is the third best selling gaming system of all time in Japan with over 24.5mil sold units.
The Switch is definitely going to pass that, but you should just know that the 3ds had almost a third of its sales in Japan.

  • +3
TheBraveGallade Kakadu18 (on 11 January 2021)

the GBA is a special case, I think it basically had a 3.5 year lifespan as the DS came out fast
Ergo, the DS cut the GBA's legs. a lot. the GBA is one of the fastest selling vidio game devices ever

  • +1
Kakadu18 TheBraveGallade (on 12 January 2021)

It's life really ended in 2006 when the DS lite released. It sold a lot in 2004 and 2005 after the DS released. It was discontinued in 2010.

  • +1