PS4 Drops Sharply in Japanese Hardware Sales Chart After Tax Hike; Natural Doctrine Flops Hard

Like every week Media Create released its hardware sales chart, giving us a good glimpse on the Japanese video game market, and it’s a slow week pretty much across the board.

As you can see in the chart below, basically every console dropped in numbers rather sharply:

Vita – 25,017
3DS LL – 22,947
PS4 – 13,401
PS3 – 10,871
3DS – 9,091
Wii U -7,962
PSP – 2,892
Vita TV – 1,371
Xbox 360 – 276

Considering that the PS4 is the newest of the bunch, probably Sony needs to take notice and start pushing harder with the releases of software that might  better fit the local market.

The overall initial sales of the console haven’t been bad by any stretch of the imagination, but numbers are dropping gradually, and considering its success worldwide, it’s time for the Sony’s Japanese branch to roll up its collective sleeves.

Tragically, The PS4 and PS3 version Kadokawa Games’ strategy JRPG  Natural Doctrine, that was released during the week examined by the chart, didn’t even make the top 20, with the PS Vita version barely pushing the 20th place with only 6,046 units moved.

Things aren’t looking good for the Wii U as well, that dropped under 10,000 weekly units despite the release of its version of Just Dance (that debuted in 5th place with 18,403 copies sold).

We also have to consider that last week Japan received a 5% hike (from 3% to 8%) to its equivalent of the VAT (locally named Consumption Tax) and that definitely influenced sales.

The charts released next week will see the Japanese release of the Xbox 360 version of Titanfall. Will Respawn’s western Gundams manage to pull the console to a four digit number? My money is on “no.” Where are you going to put yours?

Join the Discussion

  • “The charts released next week will see the Japanese release of the Xbox 360 version of Titanfall. Will Respawn’s western Gundams manage to pull the console to a four digit number?”

    I doubt it…

    • MasterofMidnight

      Agreed. Most stores aren’t even selling Xbox 360 games anymore, and MS and EA are barely even advertising the game in stores. All they had is a countdown timer on the Xbox store for its release. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t even have known it was being released today.

      • shinitaru

        yet somehow they still managed to sell 276 of them last week, go figure. Must be importing their games

  • Jecht_Sin

    PS Vita selling twice as much the PS4? Now, that is interesting. Kojima apparently knew his stuff when he talked about mobile gaming in Japan..

    • Guest

      let’s see next week report, because tomorrow infamous ss will land on Japan.

      • MasterofMidnight

        I don’t see that game selling too well in Japan. It’s not the kind of game people like over here. It hasn’t been advertised at all here. Or, if it has, it’s being eclipsed by Mario Kart Wii U, which is getting a lot of coverage. I could be wrong though, as GTA5 has done darn well here. But I wouldn’t bet money on it.

        • shinitaru

          You’re probably right about that. How did the previous installments in the series do there, do you know?

      • Arnold Stallone

        Japan gaming market are unpredictable, and really strange.
        Some call it culture, others would say bad tastes…

        For example, if there is a ps3 bundle with 4 controllers and the 50 best AAA titles, from god of war 3 to uncharted to gran turismo to the last of us to tomb raider to gta5 to infamous to lbp to many many many other, the full bundle at 19$,
        And next to that huge bundle, there is a random game with a guy made of 5-6 lines, with some huge eyes, and you have to hit a button 10 times per second, to make the eyes become bigger, etc, or other different dumb game, for 29$,

        Most guys there will rather pay for that stupid nonsense game, than getting the 50 best ps3 games + a ps3 and 4 controllers.

        Is that culture…. or weird taste?

        Sometimes I truly believe there is like a boycott, and gamers in japan won’t buy anything that hasn’t some characters with some huge eyes and spiky hair, like mangas, some giant robots or some samurais, a la dinasty warriors.

        Outside those games, 95% of gamers won’t care about all the other games.

        Once again, is that a matter of culture?
        I really don’t think so.

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          All those games you listed suck.

        • MasterofMidnight

          Ever occurred to you that maybe you’re the one that lacks taste? After all, isn’t it the West that’s obsessed with violent games and nothing else? 50 so-called ‘best PS3 games’, 45 of them nothing but samey FPS games staring military morons, fighting zombies, or other Jackasses. At least Japan’s culture isn’t gun-murder crazy.

          Living in Japan, I’ll bet they the average Japanese person has 10x more positive culture than you likely have.

          And, ironically, most of the best PS3 games are from Japanese developers.

  • You are flat out wrong

    Japan really is portable land. Vita and PS4 have a role reversal compared to the West.

    • neko working

      And Japan mobile games is very bland.
      They got great graphics buuuuuuuuuut smh i hate there gacha and battle system 🙁
      They selling nothing but pictures, sigh 🙁

      • MasterofMidnight

        Agreed. And yet, after seeing so many peeps play them on the trains, I actually really wanna play them too. But, alas, I’ll stay strong and stick to my Vita.

  • Rickowned

    Japanese hardware sales are surprisingly never that great period unless mobile.

    • Austin McDowell

      Nothing mobile is good. Look at what it did to Capcom.

  • Guest

    the good news: 3ds got low sales week. yeah i’m playstation fanboy for that 😛

    • lassenwolf

      just like the new vita thats out its combined , if you look at total 3ds sales they out sold sony by 1000’s and nintendo still wipes the floor in solfware sales

      • cozomel

        What are you talking about? If you total all of Sonys systems they add up to 53,552 vs 40,000 for Nintendo. Which is 13,552 more, so by your stupid ret*rded logic, Sony wiped the floors with Nintendo. You fanboys aree the most exaggerative, pathetic and spiteful bunch ever.

  • stealth20k

    Ugly stuff for everything. The next sure thing seller is Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

  • Japanese love mechs so i think the xbox 360 sales may break 1k next week.

    • Austin McDowell

      You obviously have too much expectations (and ignorance).

      • lol, you mad or something?

  • Dennis Crosby

    Lets be serious hear for a moment as a person who enjoyed my Xbox 360 for much and knowing that the Japan gaming community does not like American product it is a surprise to that it sold 276 consoles in a week

    • neko working

      well, not all people there has that mindset, especially foreigners who living in Japan.

    • MasterofMidnight

      I wouldn’t say it’s the ‘I don’t like American products’ mentality. After all, GTA5 has done REALLY well over here. The problem is MS doesn’t have the right exclusives. The moment the PS3 lifted off the ground, Japanese devs stopped making games exclusively for the 360 or, worse still, jumped ship and made games for Ps3 only.

  • Sticky Notes

    Is Just Dance big in Japan?

    • MasterofMidnight

      Eh, I guess so. Lots of Dance and rhythm games are definitely popular in the arcades over here. And you’d be amazed how good some people are in Japan.

  • RealityCheck2013

    Was hoping for 20K’ish a week for the PS4 in Japan. Hopefully the Japanese types of games will come to the PS4 soon in Japan. Saying that the PS3 didn’t really have a good supply of Japanese games to in it’s life time i thought. Looking at the PS3 Japanese charts it always lacked any PS3 games. Oh well.

  • ValKyRieS

    VAT should be from 5% to 8%, not from 3%.

  • Xtreme Derp

    Vita means Life. Except in Japan apparently.

    • ManagedCorn

      I giggled.

    • Bankai

      It’s still alive everywhere, including Japan.

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        The dreamcast has been outselling the vita since day 1

  • Kamille

    what can you expect? Natural Doctrine always looked like an extremely crappy game. And why is the Vita leading? What game did they release to stimulate its sales so much that it even surpassed the 3DS?

    • stealth20k

      3DS is still selling more when you combine totals.

      • cozomel

        Than what? Cuz if you combine all of Sony’s systems they are out selling Nintendo systems by 13,552.

        • stealth20k

          And if you combine all Nintendo software sold it outsells what sony is doing 20-1? But who does that?

          • cozomel

            You just did. Making you the nobody that does that. And Nintendo is still by far the worst out of the 3 and Japan is still the wackiest country out of US and EU. So whats your point? They like crap! May i have another Mario? Mario 87

          • stealth20k

            What? Oh your a troll? I regret responding to you.

          • cozomel

            You gonna cry, troll?

    • Gamingsince75

      They split 3DS and Vita sales so it looks like Vita is #1.

      • cozomel

        And they spilt Vita and Vita Tv sales so it looks like 3DS is #1, clown! And you’re old kid.

  • Ritsujun


  • Jorge Jimenez

    Good lord, PSPs are still selling.

  • Graditfied

    PS4 needs FFXV or KH3 to start kicking ass in Japan again thats like CoD or GTA for the USA

    • cozomel

      Is RPGs and whacky Japanese games all Japanese like? What happened to Japan? They used to make the best games, have the best cars, were a technological powerhouse, were the 2nd richest country and the world. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

  • TheScienceEnthusiast1130


  • Galen Nycroft

    The whole ‘next gen’ landscape is in desperate need of games/titles…it’s not even funny. 80% of the struggles and problems the consoles are facing can be solved by lighting a fire under the asses of developers.

    I think that all the latest systems need RPGS…stat! It’s not even funny.

    • MasterofMidnight

      There are plenty of RPGs. But they’re not as popular as the online mobile RPG / Puzzle / betting hybrids on phones now, which cost just a fraction (or are for free).

      • Galen Nycroft

        I mean RPGS developed native to the PS4, XBox One, and Wii U. So far there are none in the U.S. at least.

        I don’t count physical disc ports, or downloadable indie titles, virtual console titles or downloadable ports.

        • MasterofMidnight

          Yeah, you’ve got a point there. But then again, do really want the PS4 and other consoles to be showered with mediocre JRPGs? Catch 22 I guess.

          • Galen Nycroft

            I see what you mean. Lord knows we don’t need tons of NISA shovelware on the PS4 the way it was on the PS3.

            I was talking more along the lines of the new Dragon Age game, maybe a Final Fantasy, a KH, a Suikoden, A Wild Arms. Sony should try to work with the leading developers to mirror the PSX RPG lineup.

            The tough part is that Capcom and Konami have pulled out of the RPG game…and just about everything else. Looks like ATLUS became the default RPG leader in gaming since Square Enix belly flopped hard.

  • MasterofMidnight

    This is the reason why the Vita and 3DS sold so well last week. Business was booming all over the Tokyo area as people rushed to buy clothes, electronics, etc, all at mass before the tax hike.

  • ragnathebloodedge

    Natural Doctrine will sell better in the next week or two.

  • Dirkster_Dude

    Japan is a very conformist society. They have a loyalty to Japanese brands that borders on the insane, which means live, breath, eat, and buy Japanese products first. This is a form of personal protectionism that you can’t really deal with except by example to show I AM BETTER. Even then the emotional investment makes it hard to penetrate the Japanese market. Unfortunately, Western styled video games aren’t really any better than Japanese video games – just different. Japanese have no reason to buy what they consider an outsider’s video game or console brand. They think: “Since this game isn’t any better why not support Japan and buy Japanese?” The Western world does this to some extent as well, but the brand loyalty is only there insofar as the competing product is less desirable. Does this cover all Japanese? No. A higher percentage of there culture will jump off a cliff without a means to break the fall if someone in authority tells them to. A higher percentage of Westerners on the other hand would take 1 look at that cliff and say “You so crazy!”

    • rendermonk

      I think it more has to do with the fact that the Japanese and Americans, simply have different tastes in video games. Americans (not me, but most of them apparently) prefer guns and shooting each other in the head, several, several, several, several times in a row, over and over again. The Japanese prefer fantasy elements, and adventure in their games. So why would the Japanese buy a console (were clearing talking about xbox here) that caters to the FPS headshot crowd? Those “276” consoles sold in Japan each weak, are by the few Americans living over there, and/or the few RPG nuts, that want to play every RPG known to man, and a select few of them can only be found on xbox.

      There’s a much greater number of Americans, that are willing/interested in buying/playing the Japanese cultured gamed than there are Japanese that are interested in FPS.

      • Dirkster_Dude

        I wasn’t talking just about consoles. This is with just about any product or service. And IT IS A STATISTICAL FACT the Japanese or more likely to buy Japanese products simply because they are Japanese products. This doesn’t happen all the time, but is a definite trend noticed by people trying to break into the Japanese market.

        • Antonio C. R. Murray

          That’s not true at all. Here are some actual stats. Apple, Google, and Amazon are currently the top consumer brands in Japan. Every year Nikkei’s Brand Japan hosts an official ranking for both Consumer and Business. Only in Business (obviously) do Japanese native brands top the charts i.e. Toyota.

          Apple #1 2013

          Google topped the chart in 2011 –

          If you check Apple’s JPN iTunes and especially the accessories available there, you’d think that they created the product. Ironically Steve Jobs on record has stated that Apple is modeled after Sony.

          • Dirkster_Dude

            Some companies do well in Japan, but the majority of non-Japanese companies do not and that is my argument. It helps that a lot of Japanese companies have great products and services, which in many cases there is no need in the Japanese market to fill for non-Japanese companies. It is still a fact.

          • Guest

            The majority of Japanese companies don’t dominate America. The fact is that Apple, an American company, is #1 in Japan. That means over ALL Japanese companies. Period.

          • Dirkster_Dude

            It has nothing to do with Japanese companies dominating America.

          • Antonio C. R. Murray

            The majority of Japanese companies don’t dominate America. The fact is that Apple, an American company, is #1 in Japan. That means over ALL Japanese companies. Period. It’s only Microsoft’s problem and nobody else’s.

          • Dirkster_Dude

            I disagree completely and I’m sure that comes as no surprise. 🙂 The mindset and idea of consumer protectionism is alive and well in Japan.

          • Jecht_Sin

            Because the Japanese buy quality. Indeed the iPhone is a top seller. While the Xbox it’s rightly treated for the junk it is. Which Japanese in his right mind would buy a product that had an history of 50% failure rates?

          • Dirkster_Dude

            If Microsoft wants to be successful in Japan it is image is certainly something they would have to overcome. My comments were not solely for tech companies. You can look at just about any area of an economy and find Japanese like to buy Japanese products.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            There are only 12 non Japanese companies in Japan man.

    • Guest

      That’s not true at all. Apple, Google, and Amazon are currently the top consumer brands in Japan. Every year Nikkei’s Brand Japan hosts an official ranking for both Consumer and Business. Only in Business (obviously) do Japanese native brands top the charts i.e. Toyota.

      Apple #1 2013

      Google topped the chart in 2011 –

      If you check Apple’s JPN iTunes and especially the accessories available there, you’d think that they created the product. Ironically Steve Jobs on record has stated that Apple is modeled after Sony.

  • Kiyoshi

    Japan really is moving toward mobile gaming? Not sure what to think of that.

  • Gamist

    Wonder what’s Japan up to these days.

    • Michael Balchunas


      • neko working

        especially smartphone..

  • Galactic Pretty Boy

    Ah, shit.

    Kadokawa Game Studio laying off already, then? Hope not.

  • kenwonobi basurto

    So a sales tax caused lower shopping numbers of nearly everything? Yeah this isnt big news yet. Everything dropped not just Ps4. Such weird title knowing this.

    • cozomel

      Hey PS4 bashing is “in”. It caters to the hordes of Xbot fanboys that frequent these sites. Gotta appease the masses right? Anything for a click and the all mighty dollar.

  • Eric M.

    I hope Microsoft re-thinks the Japanese Launch. I think they are wasting their time in that country, no offence, but being a conformist nation is kind of a dagger-to-the-heart for MS.
    I am afraid, the only game that MAY do well there is TitanFall should the X1 launch.. The Japanese love them mechs.

  • Austin McDowell

    Don’t call them Gundams. They don’t deserve that title.

  • mikeslemonadeFromN4G

    Japan got a tax hike. All the system sales dropped.

    PS4 overall sales are over 7 million shipped in 5 months. I don’t care if the sales came from Mars.

  • cozomel

    All the meanwhile Vita is doing better than usual. Come on people there is nothing to see here, this is how Japan is, its whacked! And if you add up all the Sony systems they add up to 53,552 whereas the Nintendo systems add up to 40,000. So I guess Nintendo is in trouble too eh? I guess it aint doing to well. And how bout MS? 276! Click bait headlines. And honestly, i never expected PS4 to do that great in Japan anyways, fanboys thought that sh*t. Japan seems to be into handhelds more than anything

  • superkarma

    I really never understood the crave for handhelds over there. I guess it just comes down to the types of games they prefer. The Asian market will continue to confuse me.

    • cozomel

      Theyre whacked, period!

  • Vince Vazquez

    That’s a shame about Natural Doctine. How did it review? It looks promising, but I need to see reviews.

    If it’s as good as it looks, here’s hoping NIS America does a good job promoting it when it releases in the West, and that publications over here don’t ignore it for more mindless coverage of the yearly Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed sequels. I can dream can’t I? Well, Deadly Premonition and Dark Souls managed to grab a good amount of attention when they came out, somehow. Maybe Natural Doctrine can be the next one like that?

  • PhantomVash808

    Why the need for such a flaimbait title. Should of titled the article All Japanese Hardware Sales Drop Sharply After Tax Hike. Why single out the PS4 when the data shows the entire market in Japan was hit hard last week.

    • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      Because its been selling worse than the WiiU.

  • DemonFenton

    Simple Japan is an handheld and mobile gaming nation more than consoles these days. This is why you see Japanese devs releasing stuff on those two than consoles.

    • Guest

      Reality is there handheld nation because that is where the majority of Japan game developers are now. It is easier for them to make handheld games with there low budgets.

      a high budget console game in Japan is 20 – 40 million. While in the West 80 million is a average budget for a game.

  • corvusmd

    Wow, gaming overall in Japan is dead (except on phones), maybe MS shouldn’t even consider releasing XB1 there at all. When even Nintendo and PS hardly sell anything, and “gamers” there are just as happy buying a PS3 as PS4…it’s not even worth the time

    • Almighty-Koz

      japanese gamers arent like american or european they need a reason to buy something besides its new, and there isnt a single exclusive for the ps4 thats eastern oriented, yea there are games on it that are like yakuza but its also on the ps3, which we all know has a bigger library, sony needs some exclusive games and ones that apeal to them for them to buy them in mass

  • Skyer Ist

    As expected, PS4 is a huge bomba in Japan. Soon it’ll drop to <10K level.

    • superkarma

      As expected, any home console is a “huge bomba” in Japan.

      • Skyer Ist

        I agree, just remembered how many people predicted thait it would be like PS2 era again, lol. Not in Japan… And the truth is, even with portable domination, overall Japan console/portable market looks pretty sad now. DS+PSP sold over 55 million combined, Wii+PS3+360 sold ~25 million, so consoles+portables last gen was at 80 miilion in Japan… And now what… 3DS is not selling like DS, PSV nowhere near PSP, Wii U bomba, PS4 not looking good, and Xbox One is dead before launch. Maybe portables will be at 30 million in the end, and consoles at 15, don’t know… In any situation, it would be HUGE drop from last gen – not good for the market and for the industry… Japanese playing with their phones… Oh god.

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          Handhelds will probably be 25million now..

          • Skyer Ist

            Well, I believe that 3DS have a chance to reach 20 million with new redesign, 2ds, pricecuts, maybe dq xi, etc. And Vita can sell 10 million or even more – it’ll have longer life than 3ds and now machine is gaining popularity even without million-selling games.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Considering Vita’s at 2.8 million for now, and it’ll be on the market for another 6 years at least. Maybe 10 million is stretching it

        • MasterofMidnight

          There’s nothing wrong with the Japanese playing games on their phones. You have to look at things from a different standpoint.

          Most people whom buy games on their mobile phones are actually adults between 23 – 50yrs +. These people don’t have the time to play console games because they’re either busy with family or work. Not only that, it’s still kinda frowned upon for a grown up to admit they still play console games. A 26 year old friend told me he hadn’t told his mother that he recently bought a 3DS and Vita, because she would look down upon him, for apparently wasting his money and time on kids games. Myself also got a little bit of shtick from my girlfriend when I admit to playing video games still (and I often play it down in front of her, actually).

          The reason why the Japanese play mobile games is because they can play games, in short bursts, in places like the train, bus, etc. Basically, even if mobile phones weren’t even capable of playing video games, it’s arguable as to how much more successful home consoles would be. I doubt they would be any more successful. Perhaps more of the market would belong to Nintendo’s 3DS, but that would equally suck, seeing as Ninty only make the same games year on year, generation on generation. Heck, when you look at it that way, perhaps it’s better than the mobile market is hampering Nintendo’s sales.

  • oBaMaSuCkScOcK

    people are still buying a psp???

  • Almighty-Koz

    ill put it this way who gives a damn, its not like Japan is that important of a territory anymore, i mean they are less then 25% of WW sales, these articles try to make it seem its a hugely bad thing i would be more worried if this sales drop happened in the US or EU. Japan doing so after a tax hike and the lack of games for Eastern markets makes me say eh and shrugg my shoulders.

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    why the price hike in the first place?

  • Preston queener

    Well this was expected. Honestly its just a matter of preference. For example; westerns like America & Canada typically prefer consoles over handhelds. its vice versa with Japan