Granted, it might be difficult for someone to actually secure a PlayStation 5 in Japan. But many players will simply step over the console and move on to Switch, Xbox or PC. And it looks like many Japanese players are doing just that.
Globally, only 21.7 million PlayStation 5 units have been sold to date. And only 7.9% of those units were sold in Sony’s home country. This is about on par with the PlayStation 4, which was also viewed as a bit of a dud in Japan.
Japanese gamers are quitting Sony.
With Japan making up such a small percentage of Sony’s player base, the company is seemingly pivoting to a more western audience. Last year, Sony shut down its Japanese Studio in what many saw as another sign that Sony isn’t interested in Japanese gamers. AAA games are being developed with more “western sensibilities” (i.e. censored and featuring progressive ideology) and Japanese players seem to be rejecting the PlayStation brand altogether, whether or not they can find a PS5.
Players are also complaining about the recently announced “inflation” price hike on the already expensive PlayStation 5. Some players point out you can buy a cheap gaming PC for what a PS5 will set you back, and have an almost unlimited amount of games available to play.
Sony seems to be locking in some highly-anticipated titles as PS5 exclusive, despite demand from gamers to release those titles on PC. One high profile example is Final Fantasy XVI, which is slated to be console exclusive for at least the first six months.
Xbox is benefitting from the Sony backlash.
With the price increase, consumer dissatisfaction and ‘supply chain issues’ it would appear that the Xbox is making waves in Japan. In fact, the Xbox Series has now sold more than double the number of units as the Xbox One.
It’s ironic, as Xbox was historically viewed as the “western” system while PlayStation catered to a Japanese audience first. Now those roles seem to be reversed.
The Nintendo Switch has also benefitted from Sony’s failure, as Switch games dominate the Japanese sales charts week after week.
What does the future hold for Sony?
It’s unlikely that Sony would sunset the PlayStation brand entirely. In fact, the PlayStation 6 is currently rumored to be in development. However, even video game giants like Atari and Sega came to a conclusion that making new consoles was no longer financially viable. That day could very well come for Sony, too.[Hat Tip: BlackSageD]