Japanese console market expanded by 1.2% in 2012, publishers down but not out

Wednesday, 5th June 2013 10:44 GMT By Dave Cook

Famitsu has collated all of the financial reports of Japan’s biggest games industry players to give an overview of the past financial year. The report found that the Japanese games market grew by 1.2%, and that Nintendo is facing a tough time with Wii U and a lack of big hits overseas.

Polygon reports that by the financial year ended March 31, 2013, the Japanese market’s 1.2% growth was the first increase seen in five previous quarters, and that the increase could be attributed to Nintendo’s net income of around ¥7.1 billion.

However, Nintendo’s dip in operating income, a lack of major overseas hits, together with worldwide sales of around 3.45 million Wii U consoles paint a company facing an uphill battle moving forward. New Super Mario Bros. 2 was Nintendo’s biggest success during the period.

Accompanying the report, a note from the Famitsu editors read, “For the next year, Nintendo’s goal is to build an overseas market for the 3DS that is at least up to the level of the Japanese one. To do that, Nintendo will be releasing Animal Crossing: New Leaf in June and Pokemon X/Y worldwide in October, both major titles that show Nintendo’s active approach to the overseas market.

“With the Wii U as well, Nintendo will attempt to boost its userbase with a barrage of powerful first-party titles from the second half of this year forward to 2014.”

The editors added, “Like the previous one, this past year’s reports show a game industry in a transition period, which hits the first parties the worst. For this coming year, Nintendo faces two issues: expanding the Wii U’s userbase, and doing the same for the 3DS overseas. How much momentum Sony can generate with the PlayStation 4 launch will also dictate how it performs as a company going into 2014.”

Elsewhere the report adds that while almost every game publisher saw poor financials, they largely remained in profit, save for Square-Enix. SMBC Nikko Securities senior analyst Eiji Maeda shed light on turmoil in the software market, “This quarter featured tough earnings reports for companies overall.

“One reason for that is the shrinking market for packaged software and the way that new, big-budget IP is failing to sell across the board. Also, downloadable content sales are booming in the US and Europe and publishers are taking advantage of that for their bottom line, but Japanese makers have lagged behind, which is key.”

What did you make of the financial reports coming out of Japan’s biggest players? Let us know below.



  1. Francis O

    Facing a uphill battle? There not playing football, it’s video games here. Just release games and sales will go up. It’s pretty simple.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. ps3fanboy

    look at that picture these poor guys don’t even know what disaster are gonna hit them. nintendo are removing the wii-u from the shelves here in the usa and eu as we speak. soon there will be no games to buy and these poor people in the picture will be left with bricks. the ninty fanboys look the other way and tell them self everything is okay. but in reality nintendo have been facing a uphill battle from the start. when their choice was last gen technology, it was their down fall. it is really sad to see this gaming mammoth go, that have been an icon to us all. but in the gaming business there is no third place, sega learned that the hard way, so will nintendo. but not let us lose all hope, i am sure sony will buy up the left overs of nintendo. then release mario,zelda and dk again so younger generation will be able to play these great games in the future.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Lengendaryboss

    Its really strange why you two don’t argue more, seeing as you both have different controversial views.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Llewelyn_MT

    Meanwhile the mobile phone/tablet gaming is rising by double digit percentage year after year.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. ps3fanboy

    @3 Lengendaryboss, ninty is ps little brother, even if they argue a lot. when it comes to it and hard times hit, they stay united. this is something you pc master race and xbots never will understand, it’s an asian thing. you guys can just forget mario,zelda and dk ever coming to your platforms, sony will take care of that.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Clupula

    @3 – *cough cough*

    #6 2 years ago
  7. CyberMarco

    @5 You serious? -.-

    #7 2 years ago
  8. ps3fanboy

    @7 i’m dead serious it is a given.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. bennyx

    We must remember that Nintendo and Playstation are massive in Japan while the Xbox is virtually non existence,with all this fiasco about 2nd hand games and if Sony stays away from the DRM route then both companies will sustain a healthy future,while I do believe MS will suffer with their DRMbox and people will be less willing to spend their hard earned cash for something they can’t sell on!

    #9 2 years ago
  10. JGMR

    Japan made a major shift from consoles to portable gaming YEARS ago. The PSP remains a big seller. Nothing new here. There are more important things than more detailed graphics.

    #10 2 years ago

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