The decline of PlayStation in Japan has been known about for a little while, but a new report has revealed Nintendo has almost completely pushed PlayStation out of the Japanese market. According to News Post Seven, the Nintendo Switch is completely dominating hardware and software sales, with PlayStation 4 barely getting a look in and PS5 nowhere to be seen.
Hideki Yasuda, a Senior Analyst at the Ace Economic Research Institute revealed the Covid-19 pandemic had a large impact on hardware and software sales in Japan. Demand for both Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 was increased as people found themselves in lockdown. However, the Switch benefitted the most as a console that can either be played on a large screen with family or as a handheld device in another room.
Sales of the Switch remain strong. The console has sold 18.88 million units in Japan over its lifetime, making up just under 25% of the global sales. Between November 2020 and January 2021, the Switch sold 1.72 million units, an increase of 9% from the same period last year. Sales figures from Famitsu have shown the Nintendo Switch accounting for 91% of Japanese hardware sales during the holiday period. On the other hand, PlayStation 4 made up just 4.7%, while PlayStation 5 clocked in at 3.7% during its launch period.
The Japan software charts don’t look much better. In the top 30 games between December 28 and January 30 as reported by Famitsu, Switch games took up 29 of those slots with sales totaling just over 2 million. The remaining slot went to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on PlayStation 4 and it sold slightly more than 21,000 titles. There were no PlayStation 5 games in that chart.
These small figures aren’t helped by Sony discontinuing production of the PlayStation 4 Pro and all but one of the slim models. Demand for the latest PlayStation 5 console is also far outstripping supply. Retailers have resorted to selling the consoles via a lottery system, while a recent restock in Tokyo ended in pandemonium and police brought in to control the chaos. Despite this, Sony continues to maintain Japan is of “utmost importance” to the company and they’re not sidelining them in favour of the more lucrative western market. Only time will tell whether or not an improved supply of PS5 hardware will manage to improve PlayStation’s share in the Japanese market.