PlayStation’s performance and popularity in Japan has been on a steady an undeniable downward spiral these last few years, and it seems that with the PS5, Sony’s reformed approach that seems to de-emphasize the Japanese market and put all of its energies on the west have truly come into play. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has denied these claims and said that Japan still remains important to Sony, but a recent analysis in a GamesIndustry.biz Japan article by ACE Economic Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda states that, based on the PS5’s disappointing launch in Japan, it’s become clear that the PlayStation brand “is in decisive decline” in the country, and that “Sony is not taking Japan seriously” anymore.
Yasuda notes that in spite of the PS5’s limited initial stock in Japan, its launch sales in the region have been disappointing to see. With a total of 240,000 units sold in Japan so far, PS5’s Japanese launch is the worst ever for a PlayStation system, barring the PSP. “Early PS5 trends have shown that the PlayStation brand in Japan is in decisive decline and Ace Economic Research Institute cannot help but be disappointed,” Yasuda writes.
He adds: “Looking at the present situation, in which Sony (SIE) has failed to ship enough PS5s to Japan for the year-end shopping season, we cannot help but be deeply concerned for the future of the PlayStation market in Japan.”
Sony’s Japan side of the PlayStation business has been going through a period of turmoil of late. Several high-level creative and production leads have also recently departed from SIE Japan Studio in recent weeks.
Sony is discontinuing the production of most PS4 models in Japan in order to free up production lines for the PS5. It remains to be seen how the console will perform in the region in the coming weeks and months, especially once more stock becomes available.