The japanese market ain't what it used to be. I blame mobile "gaming".
I think the Switch is probably Japan's best chance at a recovery, but it isn't good enough yet..
The home console market was already showing signs of trouble years before smart phones became popular. While the PS2 far outsold the PS1 in the U.S. & Europe, in Japan it did so by a far, far smaller margin, and total Gen 6 sales were less than total Gen 5 sales (though to be fair nearly all the drop was on Sega's end). The PS3 debuted before the iPhone did, but was already off to a slow start in Japan, and the Wii wasn't exactly setting records like it was in the West. And if smart phones were the issue, why would they impact home consoles but not handhelds? When the 3DS debuted smart phones were widespread, yet it has sold 24.4M units, making it the #3 system ever behind only the DS and Game Boy.
As for the Switch, it's the high price (by handheld standards) that's holding it back. It's selling more like a handheld than a console in the context of the current market, but that ¥30,000 price tag is keeping it from reaching 3DS-level sales. Once it gets a big price cut or reduced-cost model, it should start to experience significant growth.
Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 10 February 2019