Excellent! A new console has launched and a whole wave of brilliant new games is upon us! Now that Japan finally has its hands on the PlayStation 4, naturally, games and consoles are just flying off the shelves, correct? I mean, this is the country which can shift millions of copies of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy in a single weekend. How can anything with Sony branding not be a hit?
Not so much. This past week, not a single PlayStation 4 game was able to crack the top 10 best selling games list. This piece of world class technology is now available for all to enjoy, but here we are still buying fun little handheld games and previous generation software. Here were the ten best selling games of last month.
- The Idolmaster: One for All (PS3, Bandai Namco) – 83.395 / New
- Genkai Totsuki Moero Chronicle (Vita, Compile Heart) (7.344) – 32.957 / New
- Yo-kai Watch (3DS, Level 5) – 30.305 / 950.035
- Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS, Nintendo) – 9.439 / 86.210
- Mario Party: Island Tour (3DS, Nintendo) – 8.049 / 371.184
- Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (Vita, Bandai Namco) – 7.868 / 201.381
- Pokemon X / Y (3DS, Pokemon Co.) – 5.553 / 4.063.466
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call (3DS, Square Enix) – 4.594 / 120.549
- Kirby Triple Deluxe (3DS, Nintendo) – 4.504 / 584.509
- Monster Hunter 4 (3DS, Capcom) – 3.386 / 3.277.125
Nintendo 3DS still continues to dominate Japan quite handily. Two games for the Vita, and one game for the PlayStation 3, and not a single game that takes advantage of this wonderful new hardware we have available to us. Speaking of hardware, the PlayStation 4 failed to beat any of those platforms as well. This is how low the console scene has truly sunk in Japan because the brand new PlayStation 4 has been beat out by its predecessor, the PlayStation 3, two months after its launch.
- 3DS – 23.600 (35.943)
- Vita – 13.865 (18.494)
- PS3 – 7.339 (7.684)
- PS4 – 6.792 (8.480)
- Wii U – 6.716 (7.613)
- PSP – 1.642 (2.022)
- Xbox 360 – 201 (233)
In fact, the sales for the PlayStation 4 dropped from the previous week’s, and quite the opposite for PlayStation 3 where sales actually went up.
Any questions about Japan not caring about home consoles anymore? Why should people be excited? When you turn your back to focus on a different audience, someone is going to be left behind in the dust. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have been completely consumed by the AAA western market and over-saturated with titles that simply do not interest a Japanese audience. Knack, Killzone, inFamous? Nobody over here cares about these games. It’s the name brand and familiarity which moves platforms over here, and Japanese developers are just not aboard with the PlayStation 4 yet.
It’s why no actual games appeared in the commercials leading up to its release.
There is no Final Fantasy yet, no Metal Gear Solid yet, no Resident Evil, and all of those exciting series that made Japanese console gaming in the 1990’s and 2000’s so wonderful have either died off or have shifted to the Nintendo 3DS or PS Vita, which is exactly why those platforms are selling well. Even the PlayStation 3 is still scoring big with Persona 5 looming in the distance.
Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Metal Gear, and Resident Evil are all a long ways away, so you have to wonder what Sony of Japan is going to do to get gamers excited for the next gen in the meantime? If you are a fan of Japanese games, obviously handhelds and a PlayStation 3 are still the way to go, but even the Xbox One is a better choice than Sony’s box right now.
I never thought I would see this happen, but with Crimson Dragon, D4, and more Japanese exclusives on the way, Microsoft is filling a niche that Sony largely has ignored to this point.
Speaking of which, if the PlayStation 4 stumbles this badly in Japan, how do you think the Xbox One will do?