The PlayStation 5 sold 942,798 units in Japan throughout 2021, according to retail data compiled by gaming bible Famitsu. The system has been supply constrained globally all year, so this figure effectively reflects shipment totals for the new-gen system in Sony’s home territory. It’s not a bad number in isolation, although it pales next to the Nintendo Switch’s tally of 5.3 million units.
PlayStation’s perceived struggles in Japan have been well-documented for some time. While the hardware figures aren’t quite as bad as is often made out, the bigger issue for Sony is that its software can’t get a foothold – there have been numerous occasions over the past year where Nintendo Switch games have dominated all 30 spots on Famitsu’s retail software charts, which obviously isn’t ideal.
While the Xbox Series X|S is enjoying a small uptick in fortunes compared to its predecessor, it sold just 95,958 units overall in 2021, so is being handily outpaced by the PS5 – as you’d expect. In fact, even the PS4 – which has largely been discontinued at this point – fared better, selling 103,786 units in Japan last year.
It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for the PS5 in Japan. Clearly it’s going to play second-fiddle to Nintendo throughout the entire generation, but it’d be nice to see the console find some firm footing. Perhaps PSVR2 and games like Final Fantasy XVI can help make a difference as we move into 2022 and beyond.