The declaration of the death of the japanese console game market is as always premature. Nintendo proofs that it can sell the PS1/2-numbers still - with DS and 3DS. Switch is on a trajectory to also blow past 20M.
Now, many will say: DS and 3DS (and maybe even Switch) are handhelds, not consoles. That's like a car maker saying: cabrios don't sell anymore in market X, so we are giving up and selling elsewhere, while completely ignoring that compact cars are selling. You need to cater to the needs of the customer, and western gaming companies (and be real: Sony is a western company already) are unwilling to do that for that for japanese customers.
About the mobile game sales: mobile gaming is on the rise worldwide, that is not a new phenomenon. But usually mobile gamers are simply people who didn't game before the rise of mobile gaming, a completely new gaming segment. Classic gamers still mostly prefer classic dedicated devices. But in the case of japanese customers and their lifestyle a handheld console often fits better than a stationary console. Also the types of games are different.
So talking about the japanese market as not worthwile for a console company is just ridiculous if at the same time Switch and Animal Crossing are selling record numbers.
Be honest: Sony doesn't want to do the extra effort to cater for the japanese market and leaves it to mobile and Nintendo. But that is hardly the fault of the market, just the strategic decision at Sony not to invest in that market.
The Switch is catering to that market there. It being portable and all. People spend less time playing in front of a TV and more on portable devices they can play wherever they want.
The market has been heading towards that for years now, in Japan. And it's been discussed countless times here as well. That you take this as an opportunity to say it all falls on Sony's fault is showing you don't know or see what the gaming habit is like over there. Sony has tried to get into the handheld/mobile market. They made some strides but ultimately chose to focus on their strength: home consoles. Just like Nintendo is doing with the Switch, by making their console be a handheld, which is where they've always been unmatched. It's no question they succeed in Japan since they cater to the market that's still the most relevant there, both for Nintendo and the customers.
Whoa, slow down. You being a bit too defensive, if you see my comment as an attack on Sony. I didn't say it is their fault, I said they made a strategic decision to focus on a different market. As Nintendo made a strategic decision to leave the red ocean of graphical power driven gaming design. That's not a fault, it is a decision made.
What I wanted to express though is, that the japanese market isn't collapsing or anything, it is fine as long as you design products catered for it.
EDIT: Also you seem to indicate the mobile and handheld console market are somehow similar. I am not sure if that is your intended direction of your comment. But if so: that is not true. Just look at the demograhics. Mobile gamers are a completely new group of customers, not prior into gaming. Handheld console gamers are much more classic gamers, only they often don't have the time tospend at home in front of a TV, or time at home can't be used for gaming (because of family or such). Instead they convert their commuting time into gaming.
If mobile gamers and handheld gamers were more similar, then you would expect a flood of mobile games making their way to Switch, as it is an easy target to port to and if the demographics are similar a lot of money can be made. But in reality you see only a few mobile games making their way to Switch and often not to a big succeess. Instead a flood of PC/console indie games release on Switch, and many of them tell success stories. This shows the audience of Switch is composed much more of classic PC/console-gamers than of mobile gamers.
Last edited by Mnementh - on 09 June 2020