In one look :
- Return of Kirby sold 380,000 units in two days, more than 100,000 more than the previous game managed at launch
- Nintendo was the top-selling publisher for the first time in 2022
- Gran Turismo 7 was the second biggest launch of the month
Kirby and the Forgotten Land was March 2022’s runaway hit in its home market of Japan, comfortably securing the top spot as the month’s best-selling retail game.
Famitsu’s monthly physical sales charts show that the latest Switch release of the pink puffball sold 380,000 units in its first two days. By comparison, the previous entry in the series – Kirby Star Allies from March 2018 – managed 224,000 in three days.
Kirby’s New Adventure sold more than double the number of boxed copies than the month’s next best-selling game – Pokémon Legends: Arceus at 125,851 units – and the next highest new entry: Square Enix’s Triangle Strategy at 117,800.
While it was a strong third month for Pokémon, technically Gran Turismo 7 was March 2022’s second biggest seller, moving over 190,000 copies. However, Famitsu’s charts list the individual formats separately, placing the PS4 version at #4 with over 100,000 units and the PS5 at #5 with 90,000.
The SKU division also affected Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, with the PS4 version debuting at No. 10 with over 36,000 units sold, while the PS5 was lower at No. 16 with over 21,000.
Both Stranger of Paradise and Gran Turismo are led by PS4 releases due to the console’s significantly larger install base and ongoing PS5 stock shortages.
Other new Top 30 entries this month include Square Enix’s Final Fantasy-themed racing game Chocobo GP at #19, Bandai Namco’s latest .hack//GU game at #21 and Bethesda’s Ghostwire: Tokyo at #27.
Switch accounted for 69.8% of all physical games sold in Japan last month, followed by PS4 at 19.8% and PS5 at 10.1%.
The success of Kirby, combined with the continued strong performance of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Bros Ultimate, saw Nintendo reclaim the top spot as Japan’s top-selling publisher. This follows a two-month hiatus where The Pokémon Company was No. 1, and Nintendo’s first top month since 2022 has begun.
Sony Interactive Entertainment jumped from #5 to #2 thanks to Gran Turismo 7, while Square Enix jumped from #10 to #3 mainly thanks to Triangle Strategy (but also helped by the launch of Stranger of Paradise) .
Total software sales for the month were down 10% from February, to just under two million boxed games sold. It was also well below March 2021, when over 2.5 million units were sold, helped by the launch of Capcom’s Monster Hunter Rise.
Nintendo Switch also led hardware sales, accounting for 78% of all units moved. These were once again led by the OLED model at 45.3%, followed by the standard Switch at 20%.
The PS5 on disc accounted for 17.9% of all consoles sold, compared to 2.3% for the digital edition. Unlike last month, the Xbox Series X sold almost double the number of units handled by the Xbox Series S, likely due to inventory limitations. Together, the two still account for less than 2% of all console sales.
Here are the top 10 best-selling physical games in Japan as of March 2022, courtesy of Famitsu:
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch | Nintendo)
- Pokemon Legends: Arceus (Switch | The Pokémon Company)
- Ring of Elden (PS4 | From Software)
- Triangle strategy (Switch | Square Enix)
- Grand Touring 7 (PS4 | Sony Interactive Entertainment)
- Grand Touring 7 (PS5 | Sony Interactive Entertainment)
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch | Nintendo)
- Minecraft: Switch Edition (Switch | Microsoft Japan)
- Super Smash Bros Ultimate (Switch | Nintendo)
- Stranger from Heaven: Final Fantasy Origin (PS4 | Square Enix)