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Japanese Videogame Stats Illuminate, Confusticate

simoniker posted about 10 years ago | from the so-many-numbers dept.

The Almighty Buck 27

Thanks to Game Science for its article analyzing Japanese videogame hardware and software sales for the first half of 2004. Of particular interest are the hardware sales for consoles ("PlayStation 2 - 1,365,260... Nintendo Gamecube - 340,204... Xbox - 18,239"), million-selling games ("Pokemon Fire Red & Leaf Green - 2,136,737... Dragon Quest V - 1,572,497... Sengoku Musou - 1,002,312"), a rare Western game popular in Japan ("Grand Theft Auto Vice City - 367,302"), a list of the publishers with the most games in the Top 100 ("Nintendo - 28...Bandai - 9... Konami - 8"), and the note that "The [videogame] market has increased 7.7% on the same period last year", meaning previous depressed forecasts for the Japanese games industry might not be entirely correct.

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27 comments

Grand Theft Auto (4, Informative)

dammitallgoodnamesgo (631946) | about 10 years ago | (#9705083)

A "rare western game popular in Japan"? It's British, the Japanese have never been afraid to buy British games. It's American games they've always been wary of. Plus, being published by Capcom can hardly have hurt (Then again Arx Fatalis was published by Capcom in Japan, and seems to have gone to the bargain bins fairly quickly)

Re:Grand Theft Auto (4, Informative)

ag0ny (59629) | about 10 years ago | (#9705128)

Arx Fatalis has not been translated into Japanese. That's quite a problem for a game that requires a lot of interaction with NPCs (lots of talking and reading).

Re:Grand Theft Auto (1)

TheOnlyCoolTim (264997) | about 10 years ago | (#9706658)

It is a good thing the Japanese solved the problem of translation: ... ... ... ...

Tim

Re:Grand Theft Auto (1, Funny)

chromaphobic (764362) | about 10 years ago | (#9706714)

cue obligatory "all your base" reference...

Re:Grand Theft Auto (1)

dancingmad (128588) | about 10 years ago | (#9709126)

Japanese English translation has come along way. My GF was translated for Northland and Deus Ex 2 (I know, I know, I told her to try for something cooler next time) and I was able to watch the whole process (and help out every one and a while). Teams of people work on it (some, like her, in the U.S. or who speak as well as native speakers).

The current dilemma in translation from Japanese to English I say is between good literal translations (or not translating some things at all, like dialogue) or completely redoing the translation (especially for games) by adding new dialogue and such, like Working Designs was known for.

Re:Grand Theft Auto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9710457)

Your GF was translated? Did that hurt? Could you still understand her? Better yet, could you finally understand her. Please reply, if there is some process available that will allow me to understand women, I think I have a candidate or two :)

Arx Fatalis (1)

Thedalek (473015) | about 10 years ago | (#9708176)

That's hardly surprising, since it was only released on the PC and XBox. In Japan, the PC gaming industry is dominated by Hentai games, creating a public perception that PC gamers are perverts, and seriously damaging the mainstream PC market.

It wasn't even released on the Japanese XBox, although that hardly would have improved sales.

Then there's the whole "Eastern RPG vs. Western RPG" can of worms.

*Evil grin* (4, Insightful)

Mmm coffee (679570) | about 10 years ago | (#9705104)

An anonymous reader writes "According to GameSpot, a Q&A with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has him saying that, although the company's Xbox game console isn't making money (or bleeding them dry), the pain has been worth it. 'We have gone from nowhere to a significant player,' he said, adding: 'I am betting we can take Sony in the next generation.

Four hours later...
Thanks to Game Science for its article analyzing Japanese videogame hardware and software sales for the first half of 2004. Of particular interest are the hardware sales for consoles ("PlayStation 2 - 1,365,260... Nintendo Gamecube - 340,204... Xbox - 18,239")
=)

Re:*Evil grin* (3, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 10 years ago | (#9705132)

Couldn't resist the grin myself either, especially since the top 5 states even the <b>old</b> gameboy advance sells more units than the XBox!

Realisticly though, western products rarely sell well in the far east. Xbox sells quite reasonably in the west, it has gained some reasonable marketshare though apparently not enough to gain a profit.

I'll be laughing my ass off when MS releases their stripped-PowerMac-with-a-crappy-OS and pits it against Sony's revolutionary Cell-based design, though! :D

Japan isn't the only market out there (4, Informative)

kevinatilusa (620125) | about 10 years ago | (#9705140)

January through November 2003 U.S. Sales:

PS2: 4.41 million
Gamecube: 2.12 million
Xbox: 2.03 million

Seems like a significant player to me

(This is according to http://www.vgpro.com/news/4121 ; I'd welcome a second source)

Re:Japan isn't the only market out there (1, Insightful)

clambake (37702) | about 10 years ago | (#9705477)

PS2: 4.41 million
Gamecube: 2.12 million
Xbox: 2.03 million

Seems like a significant player to me


Sure, until you remember that the PS2 is TWO generations behind the xbox and gamecube and still sells better than both combined.

Re:Japan isn't the only market out there (2, Insightful)

BigDork1001 (683341) | about 10 years ago | (#9705937)

Two generations? Where are you getting that from? Two generations ago was the SNES.

Re:Japan isn't the only market out there (2, Funny)

king-manic (409855) | about 10 years ago | (#9711825)

Two generations? Where are you getting that from? Two generations ago was the SNES.

Maybe he means chip fab generations? maybe fruit fly generations? in that case it's 36 generatiosn behind.

Re:Japan isn't the only market out there (1)

Lowtekium (216265) | about 10 years ago | (#9706365)

You also have to realize that Playstation 2 was released a year earlier and had tons of games for it at launch, not to mention any playstation 1 game was backwards compatible. That alone is an incredible selling point. Plus there was the whole hype that there were only 500,000 PS2's coming to the states for Christmas of 2000. I think I even remember some people selling their PS2's on eBay for $2000-$3000 that year.

Playstation had the advantage in timing, especially with the DVD Boom. Microsoft knew they couldn't take the market away from them, but after a few years of XBox Live, a slew of XBox-only games that Americans love to play, and better hardware, Microsoft can now go up against Sony in round 2.

This time they are releasing a year earlier like the PS2 was in hopes to grab more market share. Its a risky move, but if anyone can afford to pull it off Microsoft would be the one.

Re:Japan isn't the only market out there (1)

foidulus (743482) | about 10 years ago | (#9706688)

The profits from each console are also important. I wonder which actualy has the highest profit per unit shipped. Nintendo is kind of a unique case because most of the best selling software on the system is made by Nintendo themselves(Mario, Metroid, Zelda etc). Are there a lot of casual ps2 gamers out there who own a playstation and maybe 3 or 4 games? In that case sony's profit per unit may not be all that high.

Re:Japan isn't the only market out there (1)

Pendersempai (625351) | about 10 years ago | (#9706978)

Bah. Everyone buying an Xbox at THIS point is only installing linux or SNES emulators. That's what I'm doing...

Re:Japan isn't the only market out there (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | about 10 years ago | (#9707719)

That's a huge load of crap. If you want to point to anecdotal evidence I can say out of 50 people that I know that have Xboxes only one has it modded.

Re:Japan isn't the only market out there (1)

Pendersempai (625351) | about 10 years ago | (#9707771)

That was actually a joke, not crap. Just so you know.

But even if it weren't, you have to admit that the modding numbers probably at least skew the data...

Re:Japan isn't the only market out there (1)

DaphneDiane (72889) | about 10 years ago | (#9708707)

Only one of the people I know with an XBox uses it for games anymore. I have bought two myself, and both sit collecting dust, while the PS2s gets used every day. (Currently mostly FF XI and Tetramaster) A couple of my friends had it modified one as a media client but now use a dual boot window/linux box instead. I modified mine for something similar but never really used that one much. From what I've seen of the XBox games is that they are more even targeted to a male 18~25 audience than must other system, and to be honest I find stuff like Halo uninteresting.

They sell video games... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9705227)

They sell video games... in Japan.

strange omission (4, Interesting)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | about 10 years ago | (#9706972)

Of particular interest are the hardware sales for consoles ("PlayStation 2 - 1,365,260... Nintendo Gamecube - 340,204... Xbox - 18,239"), million-selling games ("Pokemon Fire Red & Leaf Green - 2,136,737... Dragon Quest V - 1,572,497... Sengoku Musou - 1,002,312")

The submitter's hardware list doesn't list the GBA SP which sold 1,295,460 units in the described time frame, and the GBA which sold 158,516, yet it does list a GBA game, Pokemon. Thus, the total GBA system sales were almost 90,000 units more than the PS2.

What's even more interesting to me is that only the GBA SP and the GameCube sold more units in Q1/Q2 of 2004 than they did on Q3/Q4 of 2003.

Oh yeah, that, and that the XBox did not have a single software title in the Top 100. PS2 had 50, GBA had 38, and the GameCube had 12.

And one last bit: Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire sold its 5 millionth unit during the period.

Re:strange omission (1)

BTWR (540147) | about 10 years ago | (#9710007)

Top 100. PS2 had 50, GBA had 38, and the GameCube had 12.

Interesting...
Nintendo and Sony have 50 each in the top 100...

Japanese = anti western (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9712322)

I don't know why presumable Americans celebrate the Japanese game statistics that show they don't buy American games or consoles. The simple fact is they don't buy our stuff. I challenge someone to name 1 American consumer product that does well in Japan, cause I can name hundreds of Japanese products that do well here. If Americans were as xenophobic (patriotic?) as the Japanese their economy would come crashing down around them.

Re:Japanese = anti western (1)

BIGmog (592353) | about 10 years ago | (#9713029)

"I challenge someone to name 1 American consumer product that does well in Japan" Coca Cola

Re:Japanese = anti western (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9714622)

Well, Microsoft and Apple are quite successful in Japan. And MacDonalds. And Disney. And Mercedes-Benz. And Gucci. (repeat for a few other thousand companies)

Re:Japanese = anti western (1)

Thimble (468492) | about 10 years ago | (#9716664)

They're not so xenophobic about foreign products as you seem to imply. They're just really picky about quality.

Hence: BMW, Mercedes, Prada, Gucci, Channel, Louis Vuitton, etc. do really well there. (ok, maybe its more about status than quality, but still)

Sorry, but the Ford that keeps stalling or needs upteen recalls just doesn't cut it...
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