In their latest poll asking readers about the upcoming games they most want, Japanese gamers told Famitsu that they wanted PlayStation slightly more than Nintendo and that they didn't care about Microsoft's Xbox One at all.
Speaking from experience, you need to be a hardcore enthusiast to write in or vote in a poll for a print gaming magazine these days. It takes time, dedication, and determination... and that's just bothering to buy a gaming rag from your local newsstand!
Once we agree that Famitsu readers are the core consumers of video games in Japan, the tastemakers if you will, we can SWAG our way into some pretty interesting assumptions about the current market outlook in the far east. Let's assume that the Famitsu readers voting in the weekly Most Wanted poll do, in fact, drive a lot of consumer behavior in the country.
Taking that as truth, Sony has a slight edge on Nintendo with 19 of 30 Most Wanted games appearing on Sony platforms with the remaining 11 games on Nintendo platforms. The titles listed in Famitsu's most wanted poll all list a platform, which is also why the full list ranks The Evil Within and Super Smash Bros twice. One spot, in Smash's case, is for the Wii U version and the other spot is for the 3DS version.
Normally, you could argue that Japanese gamers are excited to play multiplatform games like Final Fantasy XV and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on Xbox One, but Famitsu specifically lists PS4 as the console of choice for both of those titles.
The Xbox horse in this race never really made it accross the Pacific, narrowing the competition down to just Nintendo and Sony. PC fans might feel left out too, but the top 30 games Japanese consumers most want all land on Nintendo or PlayStation hardware.
In the end, that means that ~64% of games most-wanted by Japanese consumers are on PlayStation platforms and that ~64% of the total votes went towards PlayStation games. Here are some further interesting facts:
- The top five most-wanted games in Japan include two PS3 games, two PS4 games, and only one Wii U game, Mario Kart 8.
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain charted at number six, while Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, out next month, didn't chart at all. I guess Japanese gamers already know that Ground Zeroes is a glorified demo.
- Two Persona games charted in the top 10, one for Sony and one for Nintendo. Persona 5 exclusive to PlayStation 3 landed at number one for the third week in a row, while Persona Q which combines Persona 3 and 4 casts and will release on 3DS hit number seven after charting at number six last week.
- Japanese gamers actually want Hyrule Warriors, the Zelda game from Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive publisher Tecmo Koei, charting it at number 9 this week.
- Nintendo 3DS is still the dominant handheld in Japan, with double the number of PlayStation Vita games featured on Famitsu's Most Wanted list.
- Nine PlayStation 3 games charted while only three Wii U games made the list this week.
Sony will launch PlayStation 4 in Japan this weekend. Could the launch hype have effected Famitsu's Most Wanted poll this much? Can Nintendo 3DS carry the big N in Japan despite Sony's home console popularity?
I don't care how unscientific your equations get, there's no inventing demand for Xbox One in the far east.