According to figures released by Famitsu, the Japanese console market has grown for the first time since 2006.
Japanese gamers spent a total of 202 billion yen on console hardware in 2017, a massive increase from 2016’s figure of only 117 billion yen.
The increase in hardware sales last year was of course mostly due to the release of the Nintendo Switch, which has sold nearly 3.5 million units in Japan since its release and has also seen success in the United States, being confirmed as the fastest-selling new console in history. This news is sure to bring cheer to the Japanese gaming industry, which had previously experienced a ten-year decline in hardware sales.
Software sales also rose in 2017, albeit by a much smaller margin, with 189.3 billion yen being spent on games; 2016’s total was 182.4 billion yen. Rather predictably, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were the biggest sellers, with over 2 million units sold. Western gamers may be surprised to discover that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sold a rather more modest 688,044 copies in its home territory.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, their ill-fated Xbox One was left out of the console boom, with a pathetic 14,644 units being sold in Japan.