It’s been three weeks since the PlayStation 4 launched in Japan and since then, we’ve seen a rapid decline of the amount of consoles sold in the region. The first week was strong at 309k, but subsequent weeks have tapered off to just 65k and now 35k this week. It seems as though Japanese gamers aren’t as thrilled with the PlayStation 4 as the rest of the world, where it leads as the number one selling console of this generation.
So how are the launch week sales of the PlayStation 4 to those of the Wii U? Well, according to IGN, the Wii U is thoroughly trouncing the PS4 in terms of launch weeks in Japan. The Wii U had a strong launch everywhere, but subsequent sales have tapered off to the point that the Wii U sells around 8k a week in Japan when there are no new releases on the console that week. For the first week of sales, the Wii U sold 308k. That’s 1k less than the PS4, but week 2 and week 3 are where the Wii U makes up for sales.
As you can see in the picture above, during Week 2 and Week 3, the Wii U did not see the massive drop that the PlayStation 4 did in sales. As Colin Moriarty suggests in the original article at IGN, there’s no solid reason as to why we’re seeing a massive drop between the two consoles, but rather a combination of things. The Japanese gaming market is moving away from home consoles and even traditional handhelds and is focusing on the smartphone market. While the Nintendo 3DS is performing well in the country, it is not meeting the same numbers as the Nintendo DS, which saw huge success before the rise of the smartphone.
Supply issues could also be a problem for Sony, as even the Western markets are experiencing problems keeping the PlayStation 4 in stock. It’s currently out of stock on Amazon with intermittent periods of availability. In contrast, the Wii U experienced no such shortage when it was released back in 2012, despite many analysts predicting one.