It’s already started, and it would be great to see that continue.
After a few years which saw the catastrophic collapse of the Japanese console gaming market (in the absence of a strong leader for the Japanese market, we first saw a migration to handhelds, and then to mobile gaming), we are seeing some signs of life again. The PS4, it seems, is an effective leader for the Japanese market right now, and more and more Japanese third parties are jumping on board and supporting it with major games. Seeing games like Persona 5, Kingdom Hearts, Ni-oh, Star Ocean 5, Tales of Berseria, Dragon Quest 11, and Yakuza all announced for the PS4 is heartening- it tells us the Japanese console market may yet have a chance.
And Sega certainly believes so, too. In their earnings report for the previous financial quarter, they said, “Regarding the environment of the Entertainment Contents Business, while the market for digital games for smart devices continues to grow at a moderate pace in Japan in line with the spread of smartphones, competition is intensifying. With regard to the packaged game software market, despite the persisting harsh market environment, expectations of expansion are rising in Japan in line with the penetration of new-generation hardware. As for the market for amusement centers and amusement machines, which is shrinking, initiatives to expand the player base are required.”
Basically, they are saying what we have always known- the competition in the smartphone market makes success not as much of a guarantee there. Meanwhile, the console market requires a higher investment, but thanks to the release of the PS4, is seeing a minor resurgence, so is worth investing in, especially to future proof the company’s finances.
Now if only all companies saw things this way.