Since it launched back in November 2013, the Sony PlayStation 4 has experienced phenomenal sales success. Although the Microsoft Xbox One has beaten it in North America a handful of times (most recently in April) the PS4 has reigned supreme in the region, while in the UK the PS4 has become the fastest selling games console in British history.
The PS4 has also done well in most of Asia, but less so Sony’s home country of Japan, where it has constantly been outpaced by local rival Nintendo. The tables have turned now though, as recent sales statistics show that the PS4 has finally come out on top.
These figures come from Japanese sales monitor Media Crate, who recently released the numbers for the week of March 11 to March 17. Media Crate says that during this time frame, the PS4 sold 11,489 units while the New 3DS XL trailed behind by a hair with 11,340 units sold. In third place the PlayStation Vita sold a respectable 10,685 units, the Wii U sold 6,428, and all the way down at last place was the Xbox One which only managed to sell 148 units during that week, continuing its poor form in the region.
This is great news for Sony as they weren’t exactly thrilled by the slow start of the PS4 in their home country. In an interview with Eurogamer back in July 2014, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) boss Andrew House explained that one major factor was the fact that they hadn’t had a “groundswell of Japan native content from Japanese publishers and developers”.
Additionally, the PS4 went on sale in Japan four months after it went on sale in the UK and the United States, which didn’t help things. But since then, Sony has brokered deals such as the PlayStation-only release of Destiny in Japan and the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster was also just released towards the end of December; both games were likely huge contributing factors to Media Crate’s sales figures.
This is also positive for Sony as the Japanese home console market is declining due to the rise of smartphones and handhelds; so much so that Final Fantasy 15‘s co-director Hajime Tabata said that his upcoming game could spell ‘the end’ of the Japanese console market altogether. The PS4 is outpacing the trend there; something which could benefit Sony and the Japanese games industry as a whole.
But is this a total disaster for Nintendo? Far from it. Nintendo may have just announced its first profits in four years but people shouldn’t expect this to push them back into the red – not when they lost by such small margins. Plus, they may have been pipped to the post by Sony in the hardware race but in the software race, over 39,000 games were sold for Nintendo consoles, whereas just over 37,000 were sold for PlayStation consoles. And since Nintendo was the publisher behind 34,555 of those games sold (Sony didn’t publish any of those PlayStation games), the company probably still made bank.