Nintendo Captured Over Half of Physical Games Market in 2023, Circana Data Shows

Approximately half of the physical games market will be dominated by Nintendo by 2023, according to Circana data, and we've got the details here!
Nintendo Switch Oled Mario Red Front 2
Image: Nintendo

Video game industry analyst for Circana, Mat Piscatella, cited data from the retail tracking service Circana about physical sales. He revealed on X (formerly known as Twitter) that Nintendo platforms accounted for more than 50% of all physical video game spending in the United States throughout 2023. This figure dwarfs that of competitor Xbox, which captured less than 10% of the physical market share during the same period.

While the reasons behind Nintendo’s strong physical performance remain open to speculation, the company’s continued focus on family-friendly titles and its established console base likely play a significant role. The success of the Nintendo Switch, both in its original and OLED iterations, is also a contributing factor.

In my opinion, it’s because the console doesn’t have a lot of memory, so if you try to buy digital, you’ll fill it up quickly. It’s better to buy physical and just keep the games in their boxes. In contrast, consoles and PCs are really heading toward the digital age with their bigger storage spaces.

Some people misinterpreted the analyst’s tweets as an indication of overall market share, including digital sales. He reminded them, and I will remind you, this has nothing to do with digital sales. Right now, digital sales are huge and are the majority of video game sales. This is just a good way to see where the industry is right now.

Piscatella emphasized that his tweets solely focused on physical sales and were not intended to imply anything about digital sales or their market share. He specifically cautioned against concluding digital based on the physical data, stating: “This has nothing to do with digital. At all. In any way. No digital. Digital free. Nothing about digital splits, or digital shares, or digital anything. No digital. If you’re thinking ‘wow this means that digital…’ stop, because there’s nothing digital here. Just stop.”

Again, Piscatella’s data only reflects physical sales figures and does not paint the entire picture of the video game market. As digital sales grow, it’s important to consider both physical and digital channels when understanding the industry as a whole.

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar, also known as Aggy, is the current Assigning Editor.

He started his career as an esports, influencer, and streaming writer for Sportskeeda. He then moved to GFinity Esports to cover streaming, games, guides, and news before moving to the Social team where he ended his time as the Lead of Social Content.

He also worked a writer and editor for both Pro Game Guides and Dot Esports, and as a writer for PC Invasion, Attack of the Fanboy, and Android Police. Aggy is the former Managing Editor and Operations Overseer of N4G Unlocked and a former Gaming editor for WePC.

Throughout his time in the industry, he's trained over 100 writers, written thousands of articles on multiple sites, written more reviews than he cares to count, and edited tens of thousands of articles. He has also written some games published by Tales, some books, and a comic sold to Telus International.


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