God of War was released last week in Japan. While the new game has topped sales charts in other countries, it seems that in Japan, Kratos has come up against an insurmountable adversary in cardboard form; Nintendo Labo.
The cardboard toy platform designed as an extension for the Switch, Nintendo Labo released in Japan on the same day as God of War. SIE’s latest title has sold relatively well in the country. With 46,091 sales at the last count, the game has secured second place in the sales charts. However, Nintendo Labo has seized the top spot with 90,410 sales in the first week, plus an additional 28,629 sales of the Robo Kit version.
God of War took the best-selling top spot in the UK, and has similarly sold well in the USA. Japan, however, has traditionally been Nintendo’s heartland. Nintendo console sales tend to dominate, while western console releases have often struggled to compete. Sales of the Nintendo Switch have been extremely strong in the country. The console has sold around three times as many units as the PS4 and PS4 Pro. As a result, the success of the Nintendo Labo should not come as a surprise, especially as God of War is an exclusive title for the PlayStation.
The rest of Japan’s top-selling games are primarily Nintendo Switch releases, but the continued success of the Switch echoes a larger trend in the country; Japan’s game market has typically favored functionality over impressive graphics. Indeed, the Nintendo Labo is a perfect product to cater to this trend.
Reviews for God of War have been extremely high, making the game the best-reviewed title in the series. However, the Japanese gaming market simply doesn’t operate in the same way as that of the US or UK. For now, the Switch looks set to keep its crown as the top-selling console in the country. Nintendo Labo’s success over God of War will likely only cement that even further.