Nintendo reportedly controls 70% of the Japanese gaming market

For the past couple years many people have been chanting the mantra that Nintendo needs to give up the hardware business and transition into a software-only business releasing games on other consoles as well as the iPhone.

However, new numbers shine a bit of a light onto why Nintendo might be a little reluctant to leave their position as a hardware manufacturer. In short: the Japanse games market may be slowly flagging, but Nintendo's killing it. In the latest sales charts from Japan, games on their consoles represented 70% of the Japanese gaming industry. Though it's unclear if those numbers included mobile and PC games.

Nintendo's New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS is leading the charge with nearly 150,000 sales during the past week, aided in no small way by the success of the 3DS which Wired notes has been at the top of the Japanese charts for quite a while now.

Nintendo's success in the West may be more up for debate, however it hardly seems like it's time for Nintendo to abandon ship and layoff their entire hardware department. They've clearly got a lot more gas left in the tank. That said, the stakes get higher and higher every time Nintendo launches a console, and the whole industry will be watching when they launch the Wii U later this year.

Nintendo has said this is the largest share of the market they've held in five years. However, it's not entirely clear if that's due to Nintendo growing, or the rest of the industry shrinking.

Andrew Groen

Andrew is a freelance video game journalist, writing for sites like Wired and GamesRadar. Andrew has also written a book called EMPIRES OF EVE: A History of the Great Wars of EVE Online.