There has been a lot of doom and gloom talk about console sales in Japan, and that’s partly justified by the fact that this was the lowest year in the past twenty-four. Yet, it isn’t all bad, and the latest price adjustments and bundles have determined an inversion of trend in the most recent period, and especially in the all-important Japanese holiday season.
While in the west the Holiday shopping season normally ends with Christmas, in Japan it continues for the first couple of week after the new year, partly due to the “Otoshidama” tradition, that compels parents to give envelopes full of money to their children.
Considering December and the first two weeks of January, and aggregating Media Create historical data, we find out some very interesting results compared to the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015.
Wii U and PS4 sales increased the most year on year, respectively by 88.6% and 43.1%, showing that home consoles are definitely not dead in the archipelago of the rising sun. Apparently, they were just seeking the right balance between price and what customers are willing to pay for them.
The PS Vita is also on the rise, with a nice 32.8% increase over last year, partly propelled by sales of the portable version of Minecraft, that keeps selling very well even this long after its release.
The 3DS is the only major console (in Japan) that has seen a decrease in Holiday sales, despite the recent release of Monster Hunter X. With -25.9%, it’s probably getting closer than other consoles to the saturation of its market, which is unsurprising considering that it’s the oldest and it holds the largest installed base.