Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S have been incredibly difficult for fans to find, with the global pandemic, a shortage in semiconductors, and scalpers all playing a role in keeping them out of people’s hands. Thankfully, recent PlayStation 5 sales in Japan may signal the start of a recovery.
Home console sales in Japan have been slowly but consistently declining over recent years, including for the PlayStation 5. When the console launched in November of last year many Japanese analysts and fans accused Sony of not prioritizing the market enough. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan refuted the claims at the time, but the damage was already done. Six weeks after launch the console had only moved 240,000 units, which is rather dismal when compared to the PlayStation 4 selling 322,083 units in just its opening weekend when it launched in the region.
The PlayStation 5 was in a rough position at the start of the year, with 2020 being the first year since the brand launched in 1994 that less than a million units were sold in the region. The console’s comparatively poor performance is at least partially a consequence of the global shortages that lead to the console’s stock being spread paper-thin globally. The low stock and high demand have caused a lot of incidents, including a PlayStation restock being canceled due to crowd violence in japan.
But things are starting to look up for the console. To date, it has now sold 517,916 units in its home territory. More importantly, the consistency with which the console has been moving units in recent weeks. In the week from March 8 to March 14, the console sold 37,851 units and sold 34,657 units the following week. The steadier performance is indicative of a more steadily available stock being met with community demand despite the fears that Sony was not prioritizing the region following Sony’s downsizing of the popular JapanStudio.
As much as the PlayStation’s recent numbers are an improvement, the console is still trailing behind not only Nintendo Switch sales in the region but, more surprisingly, also the Switch’s predecessor, the Wii U. However, the console’s stock is undoubtedly still being impacted by the ongoing pandemic and global shortages, which does skew these numbers to be lower than they would be if the console had launched in a more typical environment. The consistency of the numbers does signal Sony’s ability to start getting more consoles on shelves, however, so hopefully soon everyone who wants to buy one will be able to find one without dedicating hours tracking restocks.
Source: Push Square