There Are Fewer Console Gamers In Japan, But It’s Not The End Of Gaming

There Are Fewer Console Gamers In Japan, But It’s Not The End Of Gaming

People in Japan have argued that the console gaming market is dying. Whether that argument is valid or not, they now have another piece of ammunition to point to as proof.

The Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association — or CESA as it will henceforth be referred to as since abbreviations are much easier on the tongue — has released the results of their annual survey in which the number of people participating in the use of home consoles in Japan has decreased by over 2 million from 31.4 million in 2012 to 29.1 million in 2013.

Obviously, there are likely numerous valid reasons behind this decrease, most glaring being the obvious increase smartphone games and the growing mobile market. Fewer people may be playing consoles, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there are fewer gamers. Some people have, perhaps, moved over to smartphones for their fix.

Also in the report, of a sample group of 300 console users, roughly 10% answered that they had used illegal copies or unofficial hacking hardware/software in the past.

CESA’s 193-page report is rather extensive, covering details from game-play hours, preferred genres, characteristics of users of different consoles, online game use, computer game use, arcade game use, feedback on the topic of video games and their effect on people, and so forth. The report has been released in book form and is available in stores in Japan for a friggin’ ¥6,300 (US$64.71).


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  • Of course its not. America and Europe have a larger impact on gaming these days than Japan. *shrug* Japan hasn’t been a powerhouse in gaming for a long time.

  • Well since the merger between SquareSoft and Enix Final Fantasy has been getting worse with each installment (except from the hand held versions), and when was the last time a numbered version of Dragons Quest came out on a home console that was not a mmo or a spinoff, these are two massive IP’s in Japan and there either absent or not doing well also where is the Mana series? Chrono series? Final Fantasy Verses? or any other new IP made by SE japan for a home console.

    Konami has outsourced Castlevania to a Western company which was well received unlike the last few installments of Silent Hill, the only IP’s that they have that i can think of that are doing well is Metal Gear and Castlevania and also what happened to Contra?, they could totally make a Gears Of War type franchise out of it.

    Capcom outsourced Devil May Cry to the west which has not been well received, have put Resident Evil on a track to a slow and painful death, where is Onimusha? where is Megaman? why do we need so many versions of SFIV? What the hell happened to MVCC 3 and why oh why so much DLC, Dragons Dogma seems like a winner though.

    Sega is a shadow of what it once was.

    Nintendo is doing good with the 3Ds, not so good with the WiiU at the moment, hopefully that will change sometime later this year.

    Platinum is doing well.

    FromSoft seems to be doing well with the DarkSouls series which is good.

    Level5 are still making great games.

    Namco is doing well with the tails series.

    I don’t think a lot of the older company’s have kept up with the times or they are buckling under the pressure of what it takes to build AAA games now, plus the disappearance of key IP’s that people would want to play and the games that are being released to poor receptions certainly are not helping to bring in more new gamers.

  • While on my visit in Tokyo I find that many Japanese are always on the move, using public trains a lot and they want something to be occupied during the trips like reading Manga, doing Sudoku or playing Angry Birds. Maybe that’s why portable gaming is popular in Japan but that’s my theory.

  • I used to see a lot of DSs and PSPs on trains in Japan in the past, not so much now, at least not on city trains. Can’t comment on the long commute trains though.

    Nowadays every man and their dog has an iPhone so if they’re not on Twitter (HUGE in Japan!) they’re playing a mobile game like Puzzle Dragon or another generic cash-in by GREE and co.

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