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The Japanese annual video games sales chart – Year 2023

The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

In 2023 – from December 26, 2022, to December 31, 2023, to be exact – the total amount of revenue generated from boxed games and hardware combined in Japan was ¥403.8 billion ($2.7 billion). This is an increase of 7.8% compared to ¥384.6 billion ($2.5 billion) grossed in the year before.

It comes as no surprise that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was the number-one selling title of 2023 in the region, with over 1.9 million physical retail units sold. What makes this achievement all the more impressive is that the latest game was only released in May.

The Zelda franchise is popular worldwide but no more so than in Japan. In fact, the popular action-adventure games are one of only a handful of games to ever receive multiple perfect scores from Famitsu reviews.

In second place, and right behind Zelda was Super Mario Bros Wonder. The side-scrolling platformer sold over 1.5 million physical copies in just three short months, as it was only released on October 20, 2023. These first-rate sales figures show that both franchises are still just as popular as ever all these years later.

In the No. 3 position was Pikmin 4, selling over 1.1 million copies. In fourth place was Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, with combined sales of just over 900,000 copies. And rounding out the top 5 was Momotaro Dentetsu World: The Earth Spins With Hope, which enjoyed a substantial increase in sales in December and comfortably beat out Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to the No. 5 spot.

It is interesting to note that every title that made it into the top 10 in Japan in 2023 were for the Nintendo Switch platform. Seven out of the ten games were even directly published by Nintendo.

Speaking of the Nintendo Switch, the versatile console was once again the top-selling device in Japan this past year in terms of hardware devices. Overall, more than 2.8 million were sold, with the Nintendo Switch OLED version being the most popular of the bunch.

Despite being No.1 across most regions in 2023 when it came to the number of consoles sold, Sony’s PlayStation 5 had to settle for second place in Japan at just over 2.5 million units sold. The Xbox Series X/S came in third place and continues to struggle in the region with only 141,712 total units sold.

That’s it for the game industry sales news out of Japan for 2023. With almost $3 billion made, the gaming world continues to be one of the biggest and most booming industries in the entire world, not just Japan. With that said, 2024 is sure to be another exciting year.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
2. Super Mario Bros Wonder
3. Pikmin 4
4. Pokémon Scarlet & Violet
5. Momotaro Dentetsu World: The Earth Spins with Hope
6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
7. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
8. Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince
9. Splatoon 3
10. Super Mario RPG

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