With the video game industry continuing to ride on an all-time high in terms of sales, Japan continues to play its part in contributing to those sales, according to a new report from Tokyo-based magazine publisher Enterbrain.
The company, which owns the popular gaming magazine Famitsu, reported that Japan’s console market in the first half of 2014 held steady for sales, with 706.3 million yen spent on consoles and 1016.3 million yen spent on games, for a total of 1722.6 billion yen (or $1.685 billion dollars in U.S. funds). The PlayStation 4 played a small part in that number launching in February, but surprisingly enough, not as big as Sony had anticipated.
The previous year’s numbers show a total of 1720.2 million yen, or $1.683 billion U.S. dollars. Again, it’s a small increase (only $2.3 million), but an increase nevertheless.
Still, it’s a bit off from 2012’s numbers, as a total of 1753.4 billion ($1.72 billion) were spent on games and consoles – a slight but notable drop.
Keep in mind that the market for gaming in Japan is very different from the U.S., as Microsoft doesn’t play as prominent a role in that country with smaller sales than what it’s done on overseas markets. For good measure, Nintendo also has a pretty strong foothold, even if the Wii U hasn’t quite been as popular as other consoles released in the past.
The smartphone market is having a major impact on game spending, though, with half of all game spending in Japan now coming from smartphone games and the other half from console games. With consoles and console games looking to show little if any growth, it’s clear that smartphone games in Japan will be the majority of the game industry in that country. Could that ever happen in the United States