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Nintendo Switch passes the sales of PS4 in Japan

Oct 26, 2017
5,215
Back then market was like - fast grow, fast decline. Now it's different.
No, the Wii had a fast decline for a system as successful as it. The PS2 and DS, for example, didn't experience anything like that. Even systems like the PS3 and 360 continued to sell well even later on in their lifespan. It wasn't until next gen consoles hit that their sales fell off hard
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,397
Yet they bought PSP despite it having vastly more immense competition from the DS which sold over 32 million in Japan.

Yet the Wii sold well in Japan at 13 million, far more than Vita and 2/3 of Japan's standard of 20 million for a winning home console.

Even the Wii U sold disproportionately well in Japan, it took the PS4 two years to pass the Wii U there.

Reality is: while Japan does generally prefer portable consoles, a major reason isn't anything to do with portability, it's simply that nobody has released a home console that is well designed, well supported and caters to their tastes since the Wii. They even gave the crappy Wii U more of a shake than everywhere else did. PS4 is a western designed and western focused PConsole, it's more an Xbox successor (literally, having an X86 chip) than a PS2 successor. Japan-focused devs tried to force the PS4 to succeed, even giving it mainline Dragon Quest despite it being by far the least successful system in history to receive a new mainline Dragon Quest. It didn't work.

And now as a result, Nintendo as a publisher is utterly dominant in Japan, because most other publishers have spent a decade simply not releasing their biggest and best games on the most successful hardware. Even games whose primary audience is Japanese.
I think you are severely over estimating the interest that Japan has in home consoles. Notice that every console you mentioned being a success was a success world wide. I have no idea what you think a "a console that cater to their interest" is but I can't for the life of me think of any form of a home console that would have any chance in hell of being successful in Japan besides one that can also be used as a portable (ie Switch). And if that is the only way to create a successful home console in Japan then we are arguing semantics.

Listen, I have no problem believing that Nintendo's main line up of games caters to Japanese audiences (and indeed worldwide as well) better than say Sony's but I doubt even Nintendo themselves can make a home console that would reach much higher than the PS4 did in this day and age. I would even be willing to concede that it may even sell better than the PS4 on it's first party exclusives alone but no way would it reach numbers of any previous big successes including the original Wii which wasn't even that great (I think 12 mil?).

Also, seriously, what does a well designed home console that tailors to Japanese taste look like? I don't see how a home console like the PS4 is Western base... It quite literally is just an evolution of what has been done for generations... If you mean custom chips like previous consoles (the only real difference between today's consoles and previous gens) then I point you to the PS3 which was way to difficult to develop for. The PS2 was as well but it was the dominate console so no dev really had a choice.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
9,983
I wish Sony would push more Japanese first party content. I know the Japanese market isn’t what it used to be but one of the main reasons I loved PlayStation in the first place was its quirky Japanese title exclusives which they had all the way to the PS3 but somehow lacked the PS4. Dammit.
 
Nov 13, 2017
1,258
Orlando, Florida
Just think about it for two seconds.

DS is a handheld. A handheld what?
Game Portable / game handheld device, etc. That was my previous classifying metric. Chill.

Noted though. If NPD identifies it as a console, then PS4 is in the running on becoming America's next Top fastest selling console model. However, Biggest 24 hour opener still goes to it and along with the Top Console Model DS and PS2, its showing incredible legs in its 6th selling year. And hey, this also marks the 2nd time in video game industry where we've had 2 consoles simultaneously putting out record numbers (PS4, Switch).

That's a healthy industry!

I dare say that next gen will be a harder battle to 100m. Sony’s main advantage this gen was that Microsoft had fucked up so badly they couldn’t compete in the sales race.

2020 is going to be interesting.
I'm inclined agree. As next gen is more going to be a battle of Libraries, Streaming, VR and game Strores. A just "traditional" console wont be coming out of the gates swinging like PS4 again. Eventhough we havent really seen the next gen console strategy from Sony, I feel its pretty safe to assume they'll be playing it close to their chest again in some form. As PlayStation has the traditional console market on lock-down for the foreseeable future.

Energizing times.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
2,235
Sydney
No, the Wii had a fast decline for a system as successful as it. The PS2 and DS, for example, didn't experience anything like that. Even systems like the PS3 and 360 continued to sell well even later on in their lifespan. It wasn't until next gen consoles hit that their sales fell off hard
PS3 and 360 benefited greatly from a Cold War between Sony and Microsoft, who both lost so much money they extended the generation to try and claw back some of their losses. It was EIGHT years between Xbox 360 and Bone. Never before has there been a generation that long where a competitor didn’t jump in and start the next generation earlier.

Well technically the Wii U was the early entry, but as a complete dud it has no impact.

Wii did have a fast decline for a winning console, it had a normal sales curve (not a fad) but basically had a losing console’s tail despite being the runaway home console winner. But that’s because it’s also the only ever winner to get jack all third party support. Never before has the winner got less support than the losers.
 
Oct 26, 2017
12,061
But Playstation got all the big hitters in Japan from Third party, from MHW to the Mainline FF and KH games.
The only games that are popular in Japan that PS4 didnt get are Nintendo games.

And Nintendo didnt really put disproportionally big focus on Japan, besides Splatoon none of their currently released franchises are the breakout megafranchises japan loves(they all seem to come this year though, with DQ11, New Pokemon gen, Yokai, Animal Crossing).
This is probably a chicken and egg situation but I don't think Sony's combined effort as platform holder and software developer shows that they care a lot about Japan. Getting MHW and DQXI was obviously notable and I am not downplaying it but the PS4 hardware sales cannot be simply explained by a decreasing interest in stationary consoles. As a first party, they largely don't make games for the Japanese market anymore.

For Nintendo on the other hand, Japan is still an extremely important market that informs many of their hardware and software decisions.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,215
PS3 and 360 benefited greatly from a Cold War between Sony and Microsoft, who both lost so much money they extended the generation to try and claw back some of their losses. It was EIGHT years between Xbox 360 and Bone. Never before has there been a generation that long where a competitor didn’t jump in and start the next generation earlier.

Well technically the Wii U was the early entry, but as a complete dud it has no impact.

Wii did have a fast decline for a winning console, it had a normal sales curve (not a fad) but basically had a losing console’s tail despite being the runaway home console winner. But that’s because it’s also the only ever winner to get jack all third party support. Never before has the winner got less support than the losers.
There is that too, albeit I'd also argue that stuff like online gaming and account systems, as well as the systems taking some time to become affordable, played a small part in that as well but, even so, yeah, it's insane how much of a gap there was

Lol Yeah, we all know that much

Well last gen was, in many ways, an anomaly. What happened that gen will likely never happen again. It was weird how little support the industry gave it though. Even Japanese developers didn't do much for it while happily bringing plenty of exclusives for the PS3 and the PSP
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,253
This is probably a chicken and egg situation but I don't think Sony's combined effort as platform holder and software developer shows that they care a lot about Japan. Getting MHW and DQXI was obviously notable and I am not downplaying it but the PS4 hardware sales cannot be simply explained by a decreasing interest in stationary consoles. As a first party, they largely don't make games for the Japanese market anymore.

For Nintendo on the other hand, Japan is still an extremely important market that informs many of their hardware and software decisions.
Eh, I'm not sure. While yeah, Sony doesn't care about putting out games the market will like, I don't think people want a big home machine to play videogames. It's just not a big selling point, pushes the price too high and many don't have the time to play something like that. Graphics/tech is way less important to gaming consumers in Japan than in the west.
 
Jan 10, 2018
1,597
Congrats to Nintendo. They found their new niche in the market and have been successful with it. Especially coming off the majorly disappointing WiiU. They still have major Japan titles like Pokemon and AC coming by years end that would give them a huge boost. Not needing to divide support between two systems is a big plus to them.

Next big milestone is passing XB1 total sales.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
1,397
It's interesting to see how this has played out. Sony is number one all over because they built a system for the world, whereas Nintendo build a system to scratch the itch Japanese players have and they're crushing it over there.
Not just over there though. Seems people all over the world like the idea of a hybrid console.
 
Nov 2, 2017
4,154
The consoles it outsold were all considered flops, and I saw that you later acknowledged your mistake, but pointing out the Vita is the 6th/7th most successful handheld is silly because there are only five/six successful handhelds. That's like defending the Wii U's performance saying it's Nintendo's 6th/7th most successful home console. Being in the top 10 is not an accomplishment if there aren't 10 strong participants.
That still wasn't the point, but I guess pointlessly playin' console wars is more important.
 
Mar 4, 2018
1,776
one that is priced like a console, with games priced like console games instead of cheap handheld games, and passed the sales of its competitor in less than half the time on the market. there's no way to spin this into anything other than impressive, or pretend this was the expected outcome.
one that is priced like a console, with games priced like console games instead of cheap handheld games, and passed the sales of its competitor in less than half the time on the market. there's no way to spin this into anything other than impressive, or pretend this was the expected outcome.
I think someone would have to be not paying attention to the market if they thought price was the reason handhelds performed better than consoles over there. I think it’s impressive how quickly it’s selling but not impressive on beating a home console in this market.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,819
Most japanese franchises lost their potential by being on only PS3/PS4 for a decade while the Nintendo portables were the true mainstream systems in the country. Now they have no mindshare or lost a lot of it to most consumers.

That's a big reason why almost only Nintendo franchises are mainstream in the country. These are the games that were available to people who bought the DS and 3DS.
And now 3rd parties are forced to focus on the west because they can't sell well in their home market.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,880
That still wasn't the point, but I guess pointlessly playin' console wars is more important.
This all stems from your comment that "They also had huge install bases on PSP and PSVita." Under 6 million in Japan is a pathetic number, calling it a "huge install base" then arguing that it has a huge install base in Japan compared to its install base in other markets dilutes your point to a meaningless state. Japan likes handhelds but the Vita remains by far Sony's worst-selling system, home or portable. "Huge" is just not an adjective you can use to qualify its install base in any market, or would you call Dragonball Evolution a "huge success" as well?
 
OP
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mazi
Oct 27, 2017
18,101
I think someone would have to be not paying attention to the market if they thought price was the reason handhelds performed better than consoles over there. I think it’s impressive how quickly it’s selling but not impressive on beating a home console in this market.
of course being a handheld helps a lot, but it's quite reductive to say "of course it did, it's a handheld". not every handheld gets to outsell successful consoles, specially one that doesn't have the price advantages of normal handhelds.
 
Nov 2, 2017
4,154
This all stems from your comment that "They also had huge install bases on PSP and PSVita." Under 6 million in Japan is a pathetic number, calling it a "huge install base" then arguing that it has a huge install base in Japan compared to its install base in other markets dilutes your point to a meaningless state. Japan likes handhelds but the Vita remains by far Sony's worst-selling system, home or portable. "Huge" is just not an adjective you can use to qualify its install base in any market, or would you call Dragonball Evolution a "huge success" as well?
And as opposed to other markets, the install base WAS huge, Japan kept the thing alive by themselves for years. The point was, that even the least popular handhelds were much bigger deals in Japan than elsewhere, due to their affinity for handhelds. That's all there is to it. I couldn't care less for how people go berserk at the sole mention of the damn Vita.
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,253
And now 3rd parties are forced to focus on the west because they can't sell well in their home market.
They screwed up. That's why most of their IPs don't get new entries and they have to focus on the few ones that are safe to develop for western audiences.

of course being a handheld helps a lot, but it's quite reductive to say "of course it did, it's a handheld". not every handheld gets to outsell successful consoles, specially one that doesn't have the price advantages of normal handhelds.
To be honest, I wouldn't call the PS4 a successful console in Japan at all. Pretty mediocre results, even more considering it had everything it could in terms of games to boost sales (new FF, new mainline DQ, new MonHun, new Kingdom Hearts, all the long running third party series, etc). It's bizarre that it may do sub 10M even.
 
Mar 20, 2018
2,720
Switzerland
And as opposed to other markets, the install base WAS huge, Japan kept the thing alive by themselves for years. The point was, that even the least popular handhelds were much bigger deals in Japan than elsewhere, due to their affinity for handhelds. That's all there is to it. I couldn't care less for how people go berserk at the sole mention of the damn Vita.
Tbh from your many many many many posts in this thread it simply looks like you went berserk once people stated that vita did not have a huge installbase in japan.

But i guess raging and calling people fanboys when they try to present facts is fun.
 
OP
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mazi
Oct 27, 2017
18,101
To be honest, I wouldn't call the PS4 a successful console in Japan at all. Pretty mediocre results, even more considering it had everything it could in terms of games to boost sales (new FF, new mainline DQ, new MonHun, new Kingdom Hearts, all the long running third party series, etc). It's bizarre that it may do sub 10M even.
maybe successful isn't the right word, but as far as home consoles can theoretically sell in japan these days, it did decently enough.
 
Oct 27, 2018
94
I wish Sony would push more Japanese first party content. I know the Japanese market isn’t what it used to be but one of the main reasons I loved PlayStation in the first place was its quirky Japanese title exclusives which they had all the way to the PS3 but somehow lacked the PS4. Dammit.
Sony has made it abundantly clear they dont give a flying fuck about smaller japanese devs
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,253
Tbh from your many many many many posts in this thread it simply looks like you went berserk once people stated that vita did not have a huge installbase in japan.

But i guess raging and calling people fanboys when they try to present facts is fun.
I don't get this discussion to be honest. Yeah, the Vita didn't sell well, but its performance in Japan, its biggest market, still proves they're way more likely to buy a portable system than any other country. You're basically at disadvantage from the start already if your system is home only.

Besides the "huge" word, that I disagree with, I think both "sides" are kinda right.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,819
They screwed up. That's why most of their IPs don't get new entries and they have to focus on the few ones that are safe to develop for western audiences.


To be honest, I wouldn't call the PS4 a successful console in Japan at all. Pretty mediocre results, even more considering it had everything it could in terms of games to boost sales (new FF, new mainline DQ, new MonHun, new Kingdom Hearts, all the long running third party series, etc). It's bizarre that it may do sub 10M even.
PS4 was successful in japan for what Sony wanted, that was to increase the sales of their western games and of the games of their western partner 3rd parties.
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,253
PS4 was successful in japan for what Sony wanted, that was to increase the sales of their western games and of the games of their western partner 3rd parties.
Well sure, they don't care about selling hardware in Japan too much. But when looking at the market, PS4 selling 9M is a pretty meh number. And the PS5 will probably go even lower as it's likely to be even more aimed at what the west wants, that goes against what the mainstream console market wants in Japan.
 
Nov 2, 2017
4,154
Tbh from your many many many many posts in this thread it simply looks like you went berserk once people stated that vita did not have a huge installbase in japan.

But i guess raging and calling people fanboys when they try to present facts is fun.
Gee, why would I post "many many many" times when a fuckton of people go nuts on me for daring to mention the Vita? I haven't done ANYTHING but say that Japan has always preferred the Handhelds. I haven't raged once, and my statements about the Vita in Japan as opposed to the rest of the world are still cottect. If you want to take it out of context so badly, that's entirely on you.
 
Nov 8, 2017
4,821
I don't get this discussion to be honest. Yeah, the Vita didn't sell well, but its performance in Japan, its biggest market, still proves they're way more likely to buy a portable system than any other country. You're basically at disadvantage from the start already if your system is home only.

Besides the "huge" word, that I disagree with, I think both "sides" are kinda right.
I don't think anyone disagrees that Japan sales skews more towards portables than the rest of the world. My point was that the Vita isn't a great example because, even though it did sell better in Japan than it did in the rest of the world, it still has sold substantially less than the home consoles of the generations that it's been part of.

It's also annoying when people come into threads like this and downplay the achievement as "of course it outsold the PS4 it's portable" because there are so many other factors that affect sales too.
 
Oct 25, 2017
15,516
I think someone would have to be not paying attention to the market if they thought price was the reason handhelds performed better than consoles over there. I think it’s impressive how quickly it’s selling but not impressive on beating a home console in this market.
Tell that to the 3DS in it's first few months before the price cut. That thing was not selling well at its launch price, portable or not.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,819
Well sure, they don't care about selling hardware in Japan too much. But when looking at the market, PS4 selling 9M is a pretty meh number. And the PS5 will probably go even lower as it's likely to be even more aimed at what the west wants, that goes against what the mainstream console market wants in Japan.
But as you can see in this thread many people are ok with this. "PS4 selling 8 million is better than expected" and other statements. There is also people saying that it doesn't matter that switch sells more because 3rd parties should focus on the biggest market (the west). Basically Sony created a super western focused industry and it is working very well for them. What Nintendo did was show that the Japanese focused approach is still worth it and can sell well not only in Japan but worldwide.
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,253
But as you can see in this thread many people are ok with this. "PS4 selling 8 million is better than expected" and other statements. There is also people saying that it doesn't matter that switch sells more because 3rd parties should focus on the biggest market (the west). Basically Sony created a super western focused industry and it is working very well for them. What Nintendo did was show that the Japanese focused approach is still worth it and can sell well not only in Japan but worldwide.
That's true @ Sony trying to push the industry to that direction. I would agree that Nintendo could open the doors to more variety in japanese third party gaming, but for now I'm just disappointed with the third parties and I think they're getting the wrong message even from the Switch's success, with companies like even Atlus basically not releasing any AA games for it. Feels like some 3rd parties didn't notice yet it's also a portable machine and can sell their games in the domestic market too.
 
Oct 29, 2017
2,285
I don't know man. I feel an awful lot of the "I prefer the Switch because it's portable" camp will only buy a portable built by Nintendo. I'm sure my opinion is shared by a few people in the conference rooms at Sony headquarters.
Call me crazy and I know it's HIGHLY unlikely but here's what I'd love to see.

- PS5 Portable that's able to play all games that the PS5 can play. VR might be the exception, but if it can still connect to PSVR2 for a scaled back experience compared to the PS5 itself then all the better. This would also mean it'd be able to play all the BC games that the PS5 can play.
- It would be amazing if they could target for a 1080p experience, but more realistically (lol) I'd expect a 720p device so it doesn't have to push nearly as many pixels.
- With SSDs now finding their way into consoles, and apparently phones I'd like to see a 1TB internal drive using the same tech the PS5 will use. This device would probably not support physical media unless Sony decides to offer PS5 games on SD Card-like media, or if they have some method of letting you acquire a digital version of a disc you bought. The upside would be if Sony mandated that all PS5 games also have a variant for this portable device then a lot of bulk could be cut out to make the portable version of games smaller. It'd probably be a bit more work for the devs though.
- This device would have to use a scaled back Navi and Zen 2 setup, maybe if they have something meant for laptops? Not aware of any such plans of course.
- 5G access to let you play PS Now games on the go


So yup, that is my impossible dream. I wouldn't expect such a thing at launch with the PS5, maybe a couple years after to let component prices come down further and maybe have it on a 5nm or 3nm process if they're ready to reduce the power draw. I'd hope by having it launch a couple years after the PS5 they could get the price down to the same price the PS5 itself launches at. IF, and this is a huge IF, they are able to make a portable that can play all the same games the PS5 can then that's the only realistic way I see Sony having an immensely popular portable. Having them try to support the PS5 and a portable with its own separate ecosystem won't end well with their current studio count and their current output. Given the two possibilities of Sony either getting more studios to develop for a portable with its own games, or Sony making a portable PS5 that plays all the PS5's games, I find the latter option more realistic (again, lol).
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,094
PS4 was successful in japan for what Sony wanted, that was to increase the sales of their western games and of the games of their western partner 3rd parties.
Ah yes, stunted growth for a console in their home country has led to this, a couple hundred thousand sales more total on their western game sales! Brilliant plan, can’t believe they pulled it off.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,984
New Jersey
There's too much stealth(or not so stealth) console warring in this topic. We should be happy for Nintendo's success after Wii U. Software with a platform that isnt actively repelling for the audience will sell

This is a pretty important milestone for Nintendo, as higher visibility in the domestic market means higher likelihood of being the lead (or only) platform for games developed primarily for the Japanese market, and with the way Switch sales are outpacing PS4 sales domestically, the visibility is though the roof right now.
I dont think its realistic in any scenario for Japanese devs to give up on Playstation or PC hardware at this point. Let alone Xbox for the bigger titles.
 
OP
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mazi
Oct 27, 2017
18,101
So yup, that is my impossible dream. I wouldn't expect such a thing at launch with the PS5, maybe a couple years after to let component prices come down further and maybe have it on a 5nm or 3nm process if they're ready to reduce the power draw. I'd hope by having it launch a couple years after the PS5 they could get the price down to the same price the PS5 itself launches at. IF, and this is a huge IF, they are able to make a portable that can play all the same games the PS5 can then that's the only realistic way I see Sony having an immensely popular portable. Having them try to support the PS5 and a portable with its own separate ecosystem won't end well with their current studio count and their current output. Given the two possibilities of Sony either getting more studios to develop for a portable with its own games, or Sony making a portable PS5 that plays all the PS5's games, I find the latter option more realistic (again, lol).
that's impossible (as you said) and will remain impossible for the duration of ps5's life. maybe a few years into next gen a portable ps4 becomes feasible, MAYBE.
 
Switch really is perfect for Nintendo and Japan loves their portable consoles. Also the price difference probably helped a lot. BotW and Splatoon are 2 of the greatest games this gen. Well done! I don't think it will pass PS4 WW sales but we'll see. Also, PS4 could take the lead back with FF7R later this year. That game is going to sell PS4s in Japan big time.
Is it going to sell more than Pokemon sword+ shield or animal crossing or Mario maker 2.