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Forums - Sales Discussion - Sony prioritizing US audience for PS5 reveal because Japan is losing interest

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What do you think

people already know this 28 50.91%
 
I don't believe what he said 7 12.73%
 
There is still hope for Japanese market 6 10.91%
 
It's not relevant does no... 11 20.00%
 
Banzai Nippon 3 5.45%
 
Total:55
Train wreck said:
Wyrdness said:

I'll add that many of them have to make games for their homeland as not only do they not have the luxury is western releases but even if they did the success abroad is often very limited and niche at best.

Those same games are limited and niche in Japan as well.  The biggest games coming out of Japan tend to be the biggest games in the west or are trending that way.  The smallest games in Japan isn't on anyone's radar, even the Japanese.  The whole notion that a subset of developers need to continue with a Japan only model is silly (and not even in droves happening anymore).  Its just a line that people use to extend Nintendo's dominance in Japan when in actuality a Japan only strategy is becoming irreverent. 

The Japanese eShop proves you wrong as the are many who are still Japan only they're the Japanese equivalent to indies as their business model is tailored to sales of this level and every once in a while a title may emerge that has better than niche sales, the reason it might seem to you that it isn'tviable is because you're thinking in the western mindset of big budget to push bells and whistles.



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Yet Japanese devs are still jot porting or releasing their games on the Switch..... And the fans wonder why their series is dying...



Pocky Lover Boy! 

"From a commercial perspective, Japan's video game market is just a shadow of its former self"

I take offence with that statement. Here is why:
- What metric are you using to calculate that? Total sales on a console, PS4 hardware sales, total japanese releases per year, do you count or ignore Nintendo games (which are japanese by the way)? Currently, like was posted by others, the sales of video game consoles and console SW seems to be just as healthy as ever. Did the mobile market swallow sales from the console market or add new sales?
- The Nintendo Switch is selling very strongly in Japan, and its games are selling even more strongly than before.
- Many great japanese-developped games changed homes from the Vita to the Switch. These IPs still exist there.

It's not because the Playstation brand lost its position in Japan that suddenly the video game market there is a shadow of its former self. It just isn't what perhaps certain japanese playstation gamers were expecting, but japanese people are not all playstation gamers. Such tweets are based on preference rather than on facts, so why should we read them? Why should we get into arguments because of them? They just serve to confuse and anger us.

Japanese games made by smaller studios today still maintain some of their japanese character, while those of bigger studios that cater to the west have lost their japanese character. What do people want? Do they want all games to be western-centric? Is this something to celebrate? If this is true (which it isn't), shouldn't we all be banding together to mourn the death of the japanese video game market, since our favorite games were born in Japan and now they're (supposedly) gone?



Ka-pi96 said:
Bullshit. The console market is still strong, the Switch proves that.

They prioritised the US for the PS4 as well, they released there like 6 months earlier than Japan. Wouldn't be surprised if the same happens again. Them not caring about the Japanese market isn't because it's not big anymore, it's because they're a bunch of sell outs.

I dont think Switch sale can prove anything since Japanese are heavily handheld focused, just check out the top 3 hardware of all time in that region, they are all undoubtedly handheld console, I've always seen handheld consoles different to traditional home consoles, and for Switch I bet 90% of ppl buying it for use on go, with that in mind, and Xbox always being irrelevant in Japan, we can see an obvious decline on sales of PlayStation consoles generation by generation in there, PS2 used to perform extremely strong in the region, followed by og PlayStation which seems fair, but that's 2 decades ago if you recall, then PSP, again handheld, then PS3 with just above 10 million units sold, and in this gen, PS4 cannot even sell more than 10 million even the total shipments wordwide topped 110+ million, that's the situation of home console in Japan. I don't know you guys, but if I were SONY, why would I bother prioritizing in such a market like this?



NathanSSSS said:
Ka-pi96 said:
Bullshit. The console market is still strong, the Switch proves that.

They prioritised the US for the PS4 as well, they released there like 6 months earlier than Japan. Wouldn't be surprised if the same happens again. Them not caring about the Japanese market isn't because it's not big anymore, it's because they're a bunch of sell outs.

I dont think Switch sale can prove anything since Japanese are heavily handheld focused, just check out the top 3 hardware of all time in that region, they are all undoubtedly handheld console, I've always seen handheld consoles different to traditional home consoles, and for Switch I bet 90% of ppl buying it for use on go, with that in mind, and Xbox always being irrelevant in Japan, we can see an obvious decline on sales of PlayStation consoles generation by generation in there, PS2 used to perform extremely strong in the region, followed by og PlayStation which seems fair, but that's 2 decades ago if you recall, then PSP, again handheld, then PS3 with just above 10 million units sold, and in this gen, PS4 cannot even sell more than 10 million even the total shipments wordwide topped 110+ million, that's the situation of home console in Japan. I don't know you guys, but if I were SONY, why would I bother prioritizing in such a market like this?

It's a great question. Let me try to give a few reasons.

1) Sony can release a hybrid or handheld in Japan. This isn't so far-fetched, as they already released the PSP and Vita worldwide. This way, they could tap into the selling power of gaming on the go.

2) Japan is the motherland of modern gaming after the crash of 1983, even in the West. This means that having games cater to and originate from Japan is a spice to keep your brand alive, where the West and its style of handling the gaming market has been fickle.

3) Nintendo is making a lot of money in Japan, and Sony has already stolen the market from them before with the PS1 and PS2, and even in some cases the PSP. If Nintendo has been able to rise from the ashes in certain cases, why not Sony?

4) There is another approach to the "if there is no money there, then exit" strategy. If Nintendo had taken that position, they would never have made a home console after the gamecube. But they made the Wii and it was a worldwide phenomenon. In other words, even if something is not making money now, it doesn't mean that something can't be done to make things profitable.



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Train wreck said:
Wyrdness said:

I'll add that many of them have to make games for their homeland as not only do they not have the luxury is western releases but even if they did the success abroad is often very limited and niche at best.

Those same games are limited and niche in Japan as well.  The biggest games coming out of Japan tend to be the biggest games in the west or are trending that way.  The smallest games in Japan isn't on anyone's radar, even the Japanese.  The whole notion that a subset of developers need to continue with a Japan only model is silly (and not even in droves happening anymore).  Its just a line that people use to extend Nintendo's dominance in Japan when in actuality a Japan only strategy is becoming irreverent. 

But a Japanese studio, or any other studio for that matter, can't survive on just these big games that may or may not fail. Hence you need all kinds of smaller titles to edge it out. And, of course, so it goes for people who opt for a platform for that big title, but want to play something else once they are done (and inbetween titles). So this notion falls flat. Japan is important, smaller Japanese studios are important, Japanese audiences are important. It is not just that, it is also a design and development philosophy that's unique and valuable. It is without a doubt a benefit to everyone that they succeed.



So don't hope for an Omega Boost remake right? No JRPGs to be shown. Guess I won't like this reveal much as I don't care for souls and the typical AAA Sony stuff with few exceptions. (be down for Spidey 2) Tho I'd love to see some Housemarque twin-stick shooters again. Even a sequel to Nex Machina or Resogun.

Last edited by Leynos - on 09 June 2020

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

padib said:
NathanSSSS said:

I dont think Switch sale can prove anything since Japanese are heavily handheld focused, just check out the top 3 hardware of all time in that region, they are all undoubtedly handheld console, I've always seen handheld consoles different to traditional home consoles, and for Switch I bet 90% of ppl buying it for use on go, with that in mind, and Xbox always being irrelevant in Japan, we can see an obvious decline on sales of PlayStation consoles generation by generation in there, PS2 used to perform extremely strong in the region, followed by og PlayStation which seems fair, but that's 2 decades ago if you recall, then PSP, again handheld, then PS3 with just above 10 million units sold, and in this gen, PS4 cannot even sell more than 10 million even the total shipments wordwide topped 110+ million, that's the situation of home console in Japan. I don't know you guys, but if I were SONY, why would I bother prioritizing in such a market like this?

It's a great question. Let me try to give a few reasons.

1) Sony can release a hybrid or handheld in Japan. This isn't so far-fetched, as they already released the PSP and Vita worldwide. This way, they could tap into the selling power of gaming on the go.

2) Japan is the motherland of modern gaming after the crash of 1983, even in the West. This means that having games cater to and originate from Japan is a spice to keep your brand alive, where the West and its style of handling the gaming market has been fickle.

3) Nintendo is making a lot of money in Japan, and Sony has already stolen the market from them before with the PS1 and PS2, and even in some cases the PSP. If Nintendo has been able to rise from the ashes in certain cases, why not Sony?

4) There is another approach to the "if there is no money there, then exit" strategy. If Nintendo had taken that position, they would never have made a home console after the gamecube. But they made the Wii and it was a worldwide phenomenon. In other words, even if something is not making money now, it doesn't mean that something can't be done to make things profitable.

First, I don't think SONY will again make a handheld after the failure of Vita, I don't have the source but I remember there's some statement from SONY before saying the same, the failure of Vita is largely caused by the trend of mobile gaming right then in early 2010s, I think SONY quit the market of handheld and then turned to invest on mobile games instead, the successful FGO by SONY music segement is a good example, and that made SONY a bunch of money, so I think the odd SONY release a handheld or hybrid is very low(even though I would definitely welcome if they do it). For the approach you mentioned, I don't think SONY quit the market in Japan, it's still one of the most important market for SONY even with the declined performance in hardware sale, just no more reason to prioritize on it, that makes sense right?



padib said:
NathanSSSS said:

I dont think Switch sale can prove anything since Japanese are heavily handheld focused, just check out the top 3 hardware of all time in that region, they are all undoubtedly handheld console, I've always seen handheld consoles different to traditional home consoles, and for Switch I bet 90% of ppl buying it for use on go, with that in mind, and Xbox always being irrelevant in Japan, we can see an obvious decline on sales of PlayStation consoles generation by generation in there, PS2 used to perform extremely strong in the region, followed by og PlayStation which seems fair, but that's 2 decades ago if you recall, then PSP, again handheld, then PS3 with just above 10 million units sold, and in this gen, PS4 cannot even sell more than 10 million even the total shipments wordwide topped 110+ million, that's the situation of home console in Japan. I don't know you guys, but if I were SONY, why would I bother prioritizing in such a market like this?

It's a great question. Let me try to give a few reasons.

1) Sony can release a hybrid or handheld in Japan. This isn't so far-fetched, as they already released the PSP and Vita worldwide. This way, they could tap into the selling power of gaming on the go.

2) Japan is the motherland of modern gaming after the crash of 1983, even in the West. This means that having games cater to and originate from Japan is a spice to keep your brand alive, where the West and its style of handling the gaming market has been fickle.

3) Nintendo is making a lot of money in Japan, and Sony has already stolen the market from them before with the PS1 and PS2, and even in some cases the PSP. If Nintendo has been able to rise from the ashes in certain cases, why not Sony?

4) There is another approach to the "if there is no money there, then exit" strategy. If Nintendo had taken that position, they would never have made a home console after the gamecube. But they made the Wii and it was a worldwide phenomenon. In other words, even if something is not making money now, it doesn't mean that something can't be done to make things profitable.

I agree with all your points and even if I wouldn't buy the device a PS5 portable version (use scalability to have a 720p30fps version with lower IQ, with a lot cheaper ssd solution and API) but certainly could have some market since you can have it either full digital or sell games on sd cards to install. Even a hybrid could be possible, but both are very unlikely since Sony haven't even hinted at being interested on portable market anymore.

Still that don't deny that the japanese market for table consoles have shrinked considerably gen after gen.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

NathanSSSS said:
padib said:

It's a great question. Let me try to give a few reasons.

1) Sony can release a hybrid or handheld in Japan. This isn't so far-fetched, as they already released the PSP and Vita worldwide. This way, they could tap into the selling power of gaming on the go.

2) Japan is the motherland of modern gaming after the crash of 1983, even in the West. This means that having games cater to and originate from Japan is a spice to keep your brand alive, where the West and its style of handling the gaming market has been fickle.

3) Nintendo is making a lot of money in Japan, and Sony has already stolen the market from them before with the PS1 and PS2, and even in some cases the PSP. If Nintendo has been able to rise from the ashes in certain cases, why not Sony?

4) There is another approach to the "if there is no money there, then exit" strategy. If Nintendo had taken that position, they would never have made a home console after the gamecube. But they made the Wii and it was a worldwide phenomenon. In other words, even if something is not making money now, it doesn't mean that something can't be done to make things profitable.

First, I don't think SONY will again make a handheld after the failure of Vita, I don't have the source but I remember there's some statement from SONY before saying the same, the failure of Vita is largely caused by the trend of mobile gaming right then in early 2010s, I think SONY quit the market of handheld and then turned to invest on mobile games instead, the successful FGO by SONY music segement is a good example, and that made SONY a bunch of money, so I think the odd SONY release a handheld or hybrid is very low(even though I would definitely welcome if they do it). For the approach you mentioned, I don't think SONY quit the market in Japan, it's still one of the most important market for SONY even with the declined performance in hardware sale, just no more reason to prioritize on it, that makes sense right?

@DonFerrari I'll give my opinion to your post here in one reply to NathanSSSS.

The way I see it, Sony might have made money by migrating away from handheld gaming towards other mobile opportunities, but it was costly to them. The reason is that a lot of R&D went into the Vita, and the way Sony stopped supporting it caused their market on the portable to preemptively plummet, causing them to lose the R&D investment they had made. It could be said that they would have lost more money had they not made that bold move, but it could be argued otherwise too. If instead they had coasted the Vita with 1st party support, they would have had a chance to maintain a position in the market, but it could have had an impact on their home console 1st party support, so I understand the difficult decision. At the time, they also didn't know if their support for the Vita would pay off. So in a sense I agree with you both saying that Sony has shown no interest in pursuing a handheld line, but I sometimes wonder if it was the right decision.

I don't expect them to come back to the portable market, but if they wanted to it would be possible. If they did, I think that for the reasons I gave you in my original post, there would be something profitable to go that route in the japanese market. As for the home console line, if I were Sony I would keep releasing it in Japan for presence, but like you mentioned I would not invest much more into it for fear of losing my RoI. If however there was absolutely no choice for Sony but to go with a home console, I might argue that supporting the japanese market in a decent priority might be beneficial for their brand overall. But since that requires time & money, it would be difficult to say whether this is a good direction, be it over the short, medium or long term.

In principle, if investment money was infinite, I would say that Playstation as a brand would only benefit from increasing their presence in Japan and their development of Japan-centric content. As an interesting mental exercise, one could wonder what worldwide benefits Sony would enjoy from such an activity. I can think of a few:

  • The birth of new japanese IPs which could be popular in the west, but would not exist otherwise (examples: Bayonetta, Splatoon, Pokemon, Shadow of the Colossus).
  • A secondary market to operate in in case things implode in the west.
  • (If they chose to continue their portable line) A backup system in case the home console market crumbled.
  • The birth of new creative japanese studios, which could make games of all types (japan-centric or west-centric like Square does)
  • The ability to tap into markets they might have struggled in before, like competing in genres like Monster breeding, such as Pokemon, Digimon and other big franchises, or games that are generally popular on handhelds such as Monster Hunter.
  • The birth of new inputs of play, such as the touch pad on the vita that translated into the PS4's touch pad and now the PS5's touch screen.
  • An overall diversity in how they approach game making and console development.

In a nutshell, Nintendo is doing most of these things and it gave us the Nintendo of today, and the Nintendo Switch.

The most valid reason why Sony wouldn't pursue this is due to risk and competition. It is probably too uncertain for Sony to push that direction, hence why they dropped support for Vita, and money to support the japanese market is not infinite. Also, japan has always been Nintendo's most understood market and they will defend it aggressively. Nintendo is currently consolidating into their main market, which may cause Sony to lose money on their investments if they choose to compete there.