News Article

PS4 Sales Slip Behind Pace Set by Nintendo Wii U in Japan

Posted by Sammy Barker

Slow starter

It took the PlayStation 4 a day to topple the Nintendo Wii U’s install base in the UK, and little over three months to surpass it globally. However, one place where the platform may struggle to triumph over the House of Mario’s latest machine is Japan, where sales of Sony’s next-gen super machine are already starting to slump after less than a month on the market.

Media Create figures paint a pretty worrying picture of the fresh format's first three weeks available, with the platform moving just 410,083 units since its launch on 22nd February. While this is a much better start than the PlayStation 3, it’s in stark contrast to the rest of the world, where the supercharged system has rarely been in stock long enough to settle on store shelves.

Moreover, the clever editors over at IGN compared the above figure to the Wii U’s first three weeks on the market, and noticed that the PS4 is some 147k units off the pace. While it’s worth noting that Nintendo’s machine did launch within the busy December shopping period, we’re sure that Sony would have expected slightly more comparable results.

Then again, despite being heavily criticised at the time, the manufacturer did opt to release in its home region last, a decision which is starting to look more and more inspired. The sales may be impeded by the lack of relevant blockbuster titles available for the device at the moment, but it’s equally likely that Japan is simply losing interest in the home console space.

The platform holder will be hoping that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes will give the hardware a lift when it launches later this month. With hotly anticipated sequels Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III still some way away, though, it could be a while before Sony’s next-gen system really takes off in its native territory.



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User Comments (37)



3Above said:

I personally think its jigh time Sony stopped making Japan a priority. They wasted so much on them with the Vita with very little return while giving the 3DS more time to recoop in NA. Japan seems stuck on a handful of franchises and doesnt seem to appreciate new IP as much as other territories. So if you dont have for example Monster Hunter Dragonquest or the like it doest matter if you're selling a next gen system or a box of crayons to them. Just my opinion though.



divinelite said:

Finally able to get ps4 yesterday.
Well to tell you japan has many things to do in ps4 is exaggerated. Aside of yakuza and idolmaster what will they play?

Remote play run like a charm I love it. On the other side I dislike how ps4 cannot play video n music aside of unlimited sigh. Not even media folder...



Heiki said:

There's just so much Japanese content to move PS4 sales.
I don't feel compelled to get a PS4 myself, because I mostly play Japanese games and Japanese developers are still focusing on PS3. That's the same reason why Xbox doesn't sell in Japan. You can't expect to make a profit there with just western content.

I'm sure that once Japanese developers start making good games for the PS4, it will sell much better, and by the time it does I can justify my purchase.



JaxonH said:

Eh, this is all just bragging rights for fanboys. Who's console sold most. My console is outselling your console. My console is better than yours because it's selling more... Honestly, I really don't care about sales, and wish gamers at large would quit putting such an unnatural emphasis on commercial success, and somehow equating that to the console's value or worth (not directed at anyone here, just a general assessment of how the average gamer thinks out there)

I bought a Wii U and Vita, and like them every bit as much as the "commercial hits" PS4 and 3DS. Just goes to show sales don't have anything to do with quality of fun games. I bought a PS4 because I knew it would have games I want. It just so happens to also be popular in the west. But I would have bought it anyways regardless. If PS4 sales slow to a crawl in Japan, so be it. Doesn't mean it's not a good console.



Heiki said:

@JaxonH Right? I love my Vita and Wii U just as much as my PS3 and 3DS!
I'm particularly in love with my Vita for the love it's getting from Japan right now.



N711 said:

@BornOfEvil IGN would post about anything with a nice sensational title as a click bait.. between a couple of Titanfall posts of course.



JaxonH said:


Ya, I will admit I haven't got much use out of my Vita lately- but I think that's about to change in 2014. It's got FFX, GoW Collection and Borderlands 2 all coming within 2 months of each other. I know they're all ports, BUT, they're all ports of games I haven't played, so to me they're just like new games. I have a feeling the Vita will get quite a few good games this year. Still wondering what's up with Ratchet & Clank Into the Nexus. Was listed on Newegg for pre order but now it's gone. There were rumors too, so Idk if the game is coming or not... guess we'll have to wait and see.



rjejr said:

TW mentioned this the other day on NL* and I thought I read it wrong, no way PS4 is selling less than Wii U. But I guess it makes sense, March sales aren't likely to equal December sales for video game hardware.

Apparently the PS4 is also selling worse at this point in it's life than Vita and 3DS in Japan, but I suppose that's to be expected.

  • "while stock issues may have been a factor last week, its figures are surprisingly low for week 3 and tracking below the Japanese launches of systems such as 3DS, Wii U and PS Vita."

When you really think abut it, a $400 home system w/ no games selling in a country that loves handhelds probably shouldn't be selling well.



rjejr said:

@JaxonH - FYI - Borderlands 2 right now on PS3 w/ PS+. Which I'm sure you know, just struck me as odd you would wait to play it on Vita.



Gamer83 said:

It's got nothing for that market, until it does, sales will continue to fall big time. I also do buy into the theory that the home console market isn't as big there as it used to be, but that's only part of the equation. There's still a market and Sony can sell the console but it needs a lot more than just Yakuza (too bad that game likely won't come to the Western markets).



JaxonH said:


I only own a PS4 and Vita. No PS3 anymore (I THOUGHT we would get backwards compatible streaming, eh ehm... but turns out we're not). And I despise PS+ Not my thing, never been my thing, never will be my thing.

So yeah, I'm actually excited for Borderlands 2 because my buddy at work just recently told me how great it was. He's the one who turned me on to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and got me started, so I trust his judgement to the fullest. And I think it'll make for a great game on Vita, actually. Much less impressive on a home console- but to play the game on a handheld? That's pretty awesome I think (and thank goodness online is free on Vita too). Idk, I just want some decent Vita games to play since I haven't picked it up but 5 times in the last year or so. I corked up for a 32gb mem card and everything, so I'd like to put it to good use, ya know? All those uber-Japanese games just don't seem that great- I like Japanese games and all, but most of them coming to Vita haven't interested me enough to buy, or they've been major let-downs. That FFX/GoW/Borderlands 2 spring combo is the best thing to come to Vita in a long time.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Gamers these days certainly have a more than healthy appreciation for sales and the like thats for sure. I care about this stuff as much as the next guy, after all nobody wants their console to be the next Virtual Boy, but its just become another source of ammo for fanboy wars.

It used to be a GOOD thing when your buddy had a different console than you, it meant a whole different system for you to play. This is also the only industry I know of where people argue over this stuff. You don't see people arguing over which car brand sells the most, or which restaurant does the most business now do you?



Farmboy74 said:

Saw this article posted on various sites around the internet, but with a slightly more flame and click bait headline. It's early days for the PS4 Japan no need to panic if it's not selling gangbusters at the minute. Might be down to the games it's released with and time of year.
At least it's good news for Nintendo in Japan.



Kohaku said:

The problem is for now that even the Wii U has more games than the PS4 has.



Squiggle55 said:

@Zombie_Barioth That's a good point. It used to be a good thing for your friend to have a different console. But clearly that's not the case anymore because most people play together online now as opposed to in the same room. And having a different console means you can't play together.



Bad-MuthaAdebisi said:

Why would anyone compare the Wii u to the ps4, the Wii u is on its knees and the ps4 is learning to walk. Stupid IGN.



Shellybird27 said:

@JaxonH PS+ is literally the best thing $50 can buy, you're HUGELY.HUGELY Missing out. 90% of Vita games I've gotten, have been through it, It's SOOOOO AMAZING, You MUST get it, if you're a PS fan. You have to be an idiot, or hate value to not get it



rjejr said:

@JaxonH - "No PS3 anymore (I THOUGHT we would get backwards compatible streaming, eh ehm... but turns out we're not)."

Yeah, know the feeling. It's why I have a shelf full of PS2 games - neatly arranged, Sammy would approve - but no PS2 to play them on. Since both PS2 and PS3 played PS1 discs I was really hoping PS4 would play PS2 discs. Oh well.



JaxonH said:


I'm not an idiot and I don't hate value, and I am very much a PS fan. Do not judge me based on my unwillingness to pay for PS+ I just see it as a waste of $400 ($50 x 8yrs). I've explained this to people before several times, but here goes one more I suppose...

I buy everything I want. I can't even keep up with the physical games I buy- everything pre ordered day one. All of it. Cause I can. By the time a game I want makes it to PS+, it's been sitting on my shelf for years. Or downloaded already (if digital), I buy the games I want to play most, and I can't even keep up with all of those. I have no interest in digital-only, non-permanent games that I either already own or have little to no interest to play- even IF it was a decent game I didn't have, I'd never have time cause I have dozens of store bought newer games waiting in line to be played next, and I want to play them more- that's why I bought them.

Furthermore, I like to keep my games. I don't like the notion of paying $50/yr for the rest of my life just so I don't lose what I have. I also hate digital (even more so when it's digital you can't keep). I like physical copies that have a monetary value, that I own, forever. Not to mention, PS+ games obtained on PS3 didn't even carry over to PS4.

So if PS+ offers me nothing in the way of games, then that just leaves the online. And as for the online, well, I just don't want to pay for it. I already paid for the console, already paid for the game, already paid for my internet service- there's no way I'm gonna pay again just to use what I've already bought and paid for. No thanks. Call it stubbornness, call it standing on principle, call it whatever you want. But I don't play online enough to justify ANOTHER $400 on top of the $400 I paid for the console.

I understand if others find value in PS+. That's fine. By all means, go for it. My younger brother (whom I live with) is a avid PS+ fan, and is always telling me how much he likes it. That's cool, for SOME people. I'm not going to rag on you or anyone else just because I don't agree. Likewise, please don't call me an idiot or hater of value just because I don't share your sentiments. I don't hate value, it's just that PS+ offers little to none for me. I've got 4 consoles. with pre orders shipping out on an almost weekly basis. I don't have time for PS+ games. Nor do I have any interest.



JaxonH said:


Speaking of which, I'm hoping that soon they'll start selling all the PS2 games on Vita through PSN, and PS3 games on PS4 through PSN. (although I think they said PS3 games can't run on PS4...?) I don't want to stream anything, but I would be interested in buying a few of the recent releases (like Dark Souls 2) on my PS4. And I'd have a field day if I could buy PS2 games on Vita. I got $300 right here with Sony's name on it, all they gotta do is gimme the goods!



Zombie_Barioth said:

Yea, thats always gonna be a problem. Unfortunately, most of the venom spewed isn't really about that. I've seen plenty of perfectly reasonable discussions.

Your not alone there. For me though a lot of what i play are RPGs and other (potentially) long games, so I don't go through games very quick. I'm almost 70hrs in Ni No Kuni, at that rate I'd probably finish 1 or 2 PS+ games, so I might as well just buy 'em outright.



JaxonH said:


Ya, it's a cool service and I'm glad others get so much enjoyment from it, but my circumstances are different. What's good for others is not necessarily good for me, or for you...



Cyrso said:


Well said, 100% agreed. Although, I'm not going to lie, I was pretty curious to see how PS4 would perform in Japan etc and I think overall I'm pretty curious to see how sales of a certain console are trending etc, but in the end it's the games for us consumers that matter. I never really got people's obsession to argue about weekly/monthly sales updates etc, it's completely irrelevant to the quality of the system and its games itself, it won't affect consumer satisfaction of games.

I also get that fans care about about console sales to a certain degree, to the point were the console is viable for 3rd party games, but beyond that point why does it matter indeed?

Also even more pathetic was IGN's headline for the NPD sales article "Xbox One made more money than PS4 in february". That is just even more irrelevant, who cares about which console makes the most money? IGN is a video game/ entertainment news outlet their audience are video game fans, not investors or financial analysts.. That headline is just nurturing fanboy wars.



Shellybird27 said:

@JaxonH just to clarify, i wasnt calling you an idiot, I was just really confused by your comment. It's all good though, i just don't have the money to buy every game i want(wish i could) so plus helps me A LOT.



JaxonH said:


Oh, no worries man. Believe me I know how much people love PS+. My brother never shuts up about it lol... it's just not for me ya know. It's definitely a good budget alternative to buying new. In fact, you could probably stay pretty busy just off the games from PS+ if you wanted to. But me, I've been gaming since Mega Man 3 and Super Mario Bros on the NES. I have that collector's mentality and really never bought into the whole digital thing, although I will buy digital games if they don't get a physical release. That's why I never trade my games in. I keep everything forever- I have an entire corner designated to my game collection and special items. A full shelf for Gamecube and Wii, a full shelf for Wii U, a full shelf for 3DS and DS, another full shelf for Vita, PS3 and PS4, and various shelves for limted edition handhelds, controllers, games, figures, etc... It's more or less the culture for those of us in our late twenties and thirties who've been gaming since the inception of the modern console.



BambooBushido said:

@JaxonH @Cyrso it matters because the more consoles Sony MS and Nintendo sale the more money they make the more money they make the more money they have to go towards making awesome games for all of us to enjoy good console sales don't just benefit Sony MS and Nintendo (money wise) they benefit us all



JaxonH said:


That sounds good in theory, but that's not how the real world works. More money just means paying off debt and collecting bigger paychecks. They've got more than enough money as is to make any games they choose. Money is not holding any of the big 3 back in game development.

I would liken your statement to a person being concerned that the federal govt needs enough money to operate and provide services to taxpayers. They've got enough money as is, and all the money in the world won't make a difference to us- they'll just find more ways to waste it and spend it. Only with a company, like Sony/MS/Nintendo, they also have pockets to line and employees to pay. That is where any extra money will go.

Furthermore, indirect concerns should not be concerns for us. Like being concerned about McDonalds making money so we can get better hamburgers. And ya know, if they're not doing well, they're not gonna have the money to invest in new recipes and we'll see less items on the menu... No. MS, Sony and Ninty are fine. They've got billions (with a B) of dollars and the only question is how much profit they're going to return to shareholders. That's pretty much it. Smaller companies, like indies and some waning 3rd party devs, ok MAYBE I could understand being concerned for them. But not for the big 3. They're sitting like Scrooge McDuck, and people are over here worrying about them making money lol...

No offense, I'm not trying to be cocky or anything, I'm just sayin it how it is, that's all. When you start concerning yourself with things that indirectly affect us, you start wading in murky water. Because where do you draw the line? You could say "well, I'm concerned with Wal-Mart's decision to expand gardening, cause ya know, if it doesn't work out they won't make enough money to afford a larger electronics department and a larger display for video games, which would increase sales for the big three, which could increase Sony/MS/Nintendo's funds, which could lead to more games..." Let's just stick to playing games and enjoying them. If one of the big three file for bankruptcy, then we can bust out the yellow caution tape.



JaxonH said:


They won't. Even if PS division loses money, it's a powerful brand that carries the company's name for them. Even at a loss, they wouldn't be willing to ever give that up. The Playstation brand is a beacon of quality to the masses, and will forever be synonymous with Sony. Same for MS. Even if they lose money on Xbox, their brand gives them universal recognition. MS is forever associated with "Xbox", and that's worth more than money.

As for Nintendo, they've got enough money in the bank to have 50+ consecutive years as bad as 2013 was for the Wii U. And with their handhelds ALWAYS being a hot item, they're still making money, even if they're making less than projected. And I seriously doubt the next 49 consecutive years will be a repeat of 2013 for them. Even if Wii U sells Gamecube numbers (which it increasingly looks that way), they can bank off their software, which always sells millions (even now, NSMBU has already sold over 4 mil, SM3DW over 2 mil, and Zelda Windwaker, Wii Party U and NSLU over 1 mil). By the time this generation is over, many of those games will be at 5-10 million sold. Gamecube had over 50 games selling 1 million +

It's nothing to worry over. I can tell you right now, Sony, MS and Nintendo have been doing this a long time, and they're not going anywhere. We're going to die old men, and MS/Sony/Ninty will all still be around when we go... Like they say, three things are certain in this world- death, taxes, and the big 3



JaxonH said:


Times were different back then. After the crash, many companies struggled to hold on- only Nintendo and Sega emerged victorious. Unfortunately, mismanagement and a flood of active consoles by Sega led to their exodus. Since then- ever since Sony and MS got in and Sega got out, an oligopoly was formed among the big 3. All three are too big to fail, and their products are too valuable to consumers for any of them to ever leave.

Again, it doesn't matter if Sony loses money in PS (heck, they've been losing money for over ten years now), the brand serves as an ambassador to the masses carrying the Sony flag- and that's worth more than the meager losses sustained by the division of late. Same for MS. They have so much money this is all but a game for them. A way to advertise the MS brand. And Nintendo has frugally stored up for the last 30 years to weather any storms that come their way. Yamauchi believed that they needed to have a bank vault to fall back on when business was bad, and as such they have wisely stored enough cash to operate the business at 2013 levels for the rest of our natural lives. And they make great products so there will always be a demand for them, not to mention their business model allows them to keep development costs under control, something 3rd parties are finding to be unsustainable.

The industry may be shrinking, but the big 3 aren't going anywhere. There's enough diverse interest in gaming to support all of them in the market. Certainly Nintendo and Sony. IF someone were to go, it would most likely be MS, but out of free will, not by force.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Thats the thing about these payed online services, the way they've all but convinced people they NEED to charge now. I'm not knocking either purely as a service, but generally such upkeep is done at the company's expense, not the consumer's. If your not making enough to cover costs theres a problem with your business. This is the only industry I know of that acts like the consumers are directly responsible for their well being. Whenever theres a problem its always our end thats the root of it.

As for the big 3's livelihood, I doubt they'll ever truly vanish. They'll probably streamline things and shrink to fit the market but as long as gaming is a profitable business they won't let things go.



Kage_88 said:

@JaxonH - You are making some great points, my good sir.

Seriously, as long as the console is profitable and making money for its parent company - then who cares how much it sells in relation to the competition?

Our 'job' as gamers is to buy, play and enjoy talking about games. Let the big business men in the flashy suits worry about the financials.



kensredemption said:

Yeesh...EA's treating Nintendo like second class citizens like the Japanese are treating Sony the same way. The hubris would piss off a lot of people, though.

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