Nintendo Exclusives Heavily Outsold Competition In First Party Games

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Horizon Zero Dawn Sold Half As Much As Mario Kart Deluxe!

Story Highlights
  • Nintendo has been exemplary with its first-party library this generation.
  • PlayStation has used a similar strategy, but data shows Nintendo’s sales are much higher for first-party titles.
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has sold over twice as many copies as Horizon Zero Dawn, PlayStation’s best-selling release.

Both PlayStation and Nintendo thrive on the back of their first-party games. IPs like Mario, Zelda, God of War, and Horizon are iconic for each console, but leaks show Nintendo’s franchises are in a league of their own.

While PlayStation has sold millions of copies after producing quality exclusives, Nintendo’s domination is unparalleled. According to leaked data, Nintendo Switch exclusives outsold PlayStation releases by massive margins during the last generation.

Why it matters: The data shows Nintendo’s core audience is more interested in first-party titles compared to PlayStation’s, with the latter attracting a broader audience.

Going by the leaked list, it is safe to conclude that Nintendo’s first-party titles were more popular than PlayStation’s exclusives.

While Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Horizon Zero Dawn represent the best-sellers from each console, the former sold over 57 million units, while the latter fell just short of 25 million sales.

This is a massive difference, which can also be observed in the next few games. In fact, the gap is so large that PlayStation’s best-seller can only compete with Nintendo’s 7th best-selling Switch title, Pokemon Scarlet/Violet.

The Nintendo Switch has sold over 132 million units. While this means it has a larger install base, the PS4 has shipped at least 117 million units since 2013, making the difference in sales quite shocking.

Interestingly, Nintendo games are infamous for retaining their price. While PlayStation is quick to discount most of its exclusives, the likes of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe cannot be found for dirt cheap prices like $5 or $10 despite their age.

Super Mario Bros Movie Review Roundup

Even in 2023, Nintendo’s flagship release was quick to achieve massive figures. Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom sold 10 million units in just three days, reaching nearly 20 million sales in three months.

On the other hand, a release like God of War Ragnarok needed a full year to sell 15 million units. Nintendo also saw a massive leap in share prices due to its strong performance in 2023.

Since the gaming giant does not focus on production value and cutting-edge tech for its first-party offerings, these figures mean that Nintendo likely runs the most profitable gaming business of the big three.

Therefore, it can be argued that Nintendo is in the best position among the console manufacturers for now.

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