NES Classic Edition November Sales Tally Show Japan Got More Units Than the United States

Have you had a hard time getting your hands on a NES Classic Edition in North America? While Reggie Fils-Aime is sticking by the company of line of demand being greater than they anticipated, what seems extremely odd is that Japan received more units of their Famicon Classic Edition than North America received for the NES Classic Edition. Why is this confusing and note worthy?

Japan obviously has a smaller population than the United States alone, but home consoles are also not a primary market in Japan anymore, as they have moved over almost exclusively to handhelds. Meanwhile, the home console business is absolutely booming in the United States. Beyond those facts, the NES itself sold around 19 million of its 62 million units in Japan. Europe sold under 10 million, leaving the rest divided up by the rest of the world, with the biggest market-share left being North America. It is likely the system sold 30+ million unites in North America alone, making it the single biggest market for NES.

Of course, this works on a few assumptions, because the NPD group was not tracking sales data at that time so we don’t have any exact figures. Still, it’s safe to assume the system was even bigger in the United States, and as such… the NES Classic Edition was naturally garnering a pretty big hype train. Still, how many more units did Japan get over the United States for this new classic edition system?

That’s a pretty significant spread. Meanwhile, the Famicon Classic Edition has not sold through all of its retail units (so they have even more available on store shelves), while every single unit of the NES Classic Edition in the United States has sold out instantly.

Nathanial Rumphol-Janc

A veteran in the video game media sphere, Nathanial co-founded Gamnesia, founded MetroidWiki.org, ran the news the segment on the Zelda Universe Podcast, found and ran Zelda Domain from 1998 to 2006, and built Zelda Informer as the Editor-in-Chief from 2008 to 2017. He now owns and operates Nintendo Prime. You can follow him on twitter @NateJanc, otherwise just stay tuned at Nintendo Prime for more of his work.