News Article

The PlayStation 4 Just Can't Catch A Break In Japan

Posted by Damien McFerran

Outsold by the PlayStation 3, again

The PlayStation 4 is selling like cakes which are exceedingly hot in pretty much every region right now — with the notable exception of Japan, where it launched in February this year.

According to the latest figures from Famitsu, Sony's latest home console is being outsold not only by the rival Nintendo Wii U, but by its forerunner, the PS3. As you can see from the figures below, the PS3 sold 154 more consoles than the PS4 in the week ending 22nd June.

Nintendo 3DS LL – 21,584
PS Vita – 12,603
Wii U – 8,373
PS3 – 6,681
PS4 – 6,527
Nintendo 3DS – 4,274
PSP – 1,160
PS VitaTV – 1,139
Xbox360 – 134

Japan is a nation which is currently gripped by portable fever, and domestic systems are rarely at the front of the pack when it comes to sales figures — the Wii U may be the country's best-selling home console, but 8,373 units sold in a week is hardly worth shouting about.

Even so, the news will come as a real worry for Sony, despite the success it is seeing elsewhere in the world. The PS4 has a long year ahead of it, and with major games getting delayed — combined with a curious lack of big Japanese titles — it's hard to see how the sales will improve any time soon.


User Comments (37)



Gamer83 said:

Lets not sugarcoat it, these consoles are selling like absolute sh*t in Japan and I really don't know what's going to change it. I guess for PS4 you could use the excuse that there's no games the Japanese audience cares about but what's in store over the next year really to help that? And, what's the excuse for Wii U?



eaglebob345 said:

@Gamer83 If you're looking for excuses, look for one for the Vita. It sold less than half the 3DS. The home console numbers will all look bad in a country that wants something different (handhelds). I think the PS4 will pick up when game like MGS, KH, and FF are released. Wii U maybe with with SSB, XCX, SMTxFE, and Hyrule Warriors. The Wii U did get a boost from MK8, even if it isn't as high as people would hope.



Gamer83 said:


The Vita is pretty much dead, even Sony doesn't care about it, there's no need to look for excuses there. The home console sales are just pathetically low. And yes, it's been a trend for a long time, it's just really disappointing. I'd like to think MGS V could help but it's also being released on PS3, so maybe not.



Ginkgo said:

It is simply a lack of enough Japanese specific games. Wii U sold like a dog in Japan for a long while, and is only just now turning it around. PS4 can too with content. Whether the content is coming and when remains to be seen.



eaglebob345 said:

@Gamer83 Yeah. Depending on when SE decides to actually finish KH3 or FF15, they might be too late to the party. That's not to say the PS4 is dead (no one in their right mind would say that) but I mean someone might swoop in and take the spotlight.



Carl-G said:

DAM U PS3! I HATE SON...oh er erm

  • The PS3 didn't really have many killer yearly Japan'ish games in it's life time & i think that is another reason it did o.k'ish in Japan so if the PS4 has a lack of any killer Japanese sort of games to yearly i can't see it doing well to. Oh well thank god the rest of the World loves the PS4


Gamer83 said:


Since FF 15 was once FF 13 Versus, or whatever they were calling it, I'd like to think that's a possibility for late 2015 or at the absolute latest Holiday 2016. That could help. I'm not even going to bother hoping for KH 3 before mid-2018 at the earliest, that one will be late to the party. It'll be interesting, Nintendo and even MS have signed exclusive deals with Platinum, wouldn't mind seeing Sony do the same. And Sony's own Japan Studio is fantastic, I'm hoping they have something in store for PS4 that we'll get to see at this year's TGS.



Bad-MuthaAdebisi said:

I still believe ps4 will pick up slowly but its obvious already that its not going to smash any records. I don't think the numbers are so bad, they're just not great.



RawWilson1 said:

I wonder will TLoU:RM sell some units in Japan when it's released next month.



Gemuarto said:

I hate japs... They are destroying video games industry in Japan, by such attitude. Most japs like to play some stupid F2P *hit on smarts or play MMO or buy 3DS and Monster Hunter and nothing else, for a couple of years, untill next Monster Hunter. Hate them.... =)



Demi_God said:

This is why Sony is catering to the western market with other japanese publishers be it indie or whatever else. The console market just isn't a place for Japan, no matter how you look at it. Japan is basically Nintendonized.



CrazyOtto said:

@Demi_God Nintendonized and Appleized, It's crazy when a western brand like Apple is pushing PlayStation aside in PlayStation's own region.



rjejr said:

Honestly, I just don't see why anybody in Japan would buy a PS4. It's big, it's expensive, and the games are limited. If you remove games that are also on the PS3 - MGS, Destiny - what reasons are there to spend $400 on a PS4?

PS4 isn't even getting the new Godzilla game, it's a PS3 exclusive (BTW that's sarcasm, not racism, nobody wants the new G game more than I do).

So why buy a PS4 now - wait until it comes bundled w/ a Vita or gets the "slim" or 1TB HDD or a price drop or something. Japan just had a big retail tax hike also, so consumers are probably waiting for a reason to buy.



Punished_Boss_84 said:

The gaming market over in Japan is still upsetting. Every platform is doing mediocre salesfigures. Mario Kart 8 didn't really boost Wii U past 20k, which really says it all.



rastamadeus said:

@Gemuarto Yeah, how dare they not buy the crap that's released over here and more more ports? Can't wait to play The Last Of Us again while going through more games available on PS3 and paying double the going price for those PS3 games <3<3<3

The Japanese clearly aren't as thick as Sony likes to think all gamers are.

@Demi_God You do realise Sony has ruled the roost in Japan with home consoles for the past two generations so you're incorrect. Handheld wise they are obsessed with Nintendo devices but at home? No way Pedro.



eaglebob345 said:

@Gamer83 Yeah, the Sony has great Japanese support for their consoles, but the PS4 should have had more at it's launch. They could have upscaled some of their own Vita games (Gravity Rush, Freedom Wars, Soul Sacrifice, etc.) and promoted cross play and cross buy, not remote play (or downscaled some PS4 game for the same effect). I am interested to see what Sony does with Platinum, but I am more interested in which company gives Mistwalker and Ganbarion a bigger chance. They have proved they can male excellent games, now I wait for their new projects.



bbq_boy said:

I can't blame the Japanese not choosing ps4. Their living standards are one of the highest in the world. And when you compare the price of handheld games to console games there's a huge gap. Also Japanese kids love to co-op and women prefer cutie games hence ninty and apple cute centric games do so well there. Problem with Sony is that most games have kill people, souls, demon memorabilia, sex or pain splattered over their games. Maybe this is why the Japanese prefer Mario/pokemon over god of war or grand theft auto franchises.



uchinakagema said:

Just wait. I am not putting much stock on these numbers because Japan doesn't really have a game the want to key on. I would wait for after the release of Final Fantasy XV to see how the console sells in it's home country.



Gemuarto said:

@rastamadeus Yeah, japs waiting for price drops, more games and setera. They know, that first year on every console is always pretty dry. But at the same time, you and me bought PS4 to support Sony and game industry, because we know, they need good install base and crap. So why japs can;t do the same? How on earth will they get good games if they don't show any curiousity about PS4? Hope it will be like with 3DS, though. Boom after price drop =).



hYdeks said:

well, there isn't really much in the way of games yet, this could easily change by Christmas time.

It seems Japanese people are actually more interested in portable game consoles, by the looks of it Who could blame them with how great the games look on there now, and the PSVita does have alot of rpgs. As for the Wii U, it does have great games out for it now, maybe that' why it's ahead right now?



JaxonH said:



The Japanese aren't easily persuaded, and rarely buy hardware off "hype" alone. They want to see games. As @Ginkgo just said, the Wii U was at the bottom of the barrel in the Japanese charts for a solid year until the games started hitting, now it's consistently topping the charts for home console sales. Same for the Vita. Horrible sales for at least 18 months, then once the games started hitting (games the Japanese like) it started selling much more. Now it's consistently outselling everything but the 3DS. PS4 isn't selling because hype alone isn't enough for Japan. Once the games hit, you can be sure that system will be selling JUST fine.



owenstodstill said:

Games. Simple as that.
You can try and turn into something more in depth and interesting but at the end of the day take one look at the games line up there.



Gamer83 said:


It's got Mario Kart 8, I guess that counts for something and it seems to have more games for the Japanese than either the PS4 or X1. Hell I'd say PS4 might actually also be behind X1 in that category but neither are catering to that crowd, yet.




TGS is where we'll see The Last Guardian announcement. And then they won't be able to keep them in stock in japan.

Bank on it.

lol, at least that's what I hope happens.



Jazzer94 said:

@Gemuarto Why would they buy something that has no real exclusives that will interest them, Sony did a poor job with the Japanese launch line up and this is the result the Japanese won't fall for slogans like Greatness awaits they will just wait and good on them to.



Ps4all said:

@Gamer83 Sadly, I think you are right. I wanted the vita to succeed so badly, but at this point I think it's a lost cause.



Ps4all said:

@Jazzer94 I think the question is more likely"why make exclusives for a country that doesn't buy home consoles". Maybe they expected poor sales figures in Japan and that's why it launched there 4 months later than Europe and North America. I think they can do just fine without selling any ps4s at all there. I don't think sony needs to worry about japan not buying consoles, japan needs to be worried that no one is going to cater to them if the don't purchase the new hardware.



get2sammyb said:

@Gemuarto Be a bit more careful with the type of language you use in the future, please. I'm not going to edit or delete your post, but do be aware that your post could be read in a less than pleasant way.



kensredemption said:

I think we can blame the poor sales on one thing:

PlayStation Now

The Japanese pay an obscene amount of money for new games already, but with the lack of backwards compatibility AND the fact that their cloud service doesn't guarantee a permanent purchase of titles along with a mandatory PlayStation Plus subscription for most online multiplayer games, it's no wonder the Wii U is more appealing than the PS4 AND XBO.



ShootMePlease said:

@CrazyOtto Apple is not that popular in japan. Majority of people in japan actually prefer Android. I'm currently living in japan and i see almost 10 androids to every one Iphone.



Demi_God said:

@rastamadeus Well, they are certainly not obsessed with consoles, they are playing their handhelds at home, too. Don't believe me, look at the sales for pete sakes. The sales proved why Sony turned to the western market, they wouldn't have got much support from Japan. It doesn't matter how many generations of this or that, what matters now is right now and Japan is showing very little support for home consoles compared to the rest of the world. Point being, they are not a reliable market anymore for console gaming and quite frankly, I don't like a lot of the games over there to begin with anyway. Very abstract imo.

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