While home seclusion benefited sales of traditional toys and games in 2020, the impact on sales of video games was even more significant. Appealing to both adults and children, video games saw increased demand as consumers found themselves with more free time at home.
PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X were finally released in November 2020. In Japan, PlayStation has been historically strong, vying with Nintendo for the top spot in static consoles, although Xbox has always been a long way behind its two main rivals.
Mobile games remained the most significant contributor to sales of video games in 2020, with the category boosted by the home seclusion seen in the wake of COVID-19. Sales had started to stagnate due to a general lack of movement in the most popular titles.
Nintendo is planning to sell even more of its static consoles in 2021, but there is doubt over whether it will be able to achieve this. Nintendo Switch was already in its fourth year in 2020, and Nintendo Switch Lite which followed was in its second year in 2020.
After a slow start in 2020, in part due to supply issues, it is expected that PlayStation 5 should see strong growth in 2021. As new video games titles are released and concerns over COVID-19 ease many consumers are likely to be eager to purchase Sony’s latest static console, with PlayStation having a place in the hearts of many Japanese gamers.
AR/VR headsets is expected to remain one of the most dynamic categories over the forecast period, building on the strong start seen during the review period. With ongoing improvements in graphics, wireless technology, data, and power supply, coupled with stable prices, these products are becoming increasingly popular.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Video Games industry in Japan with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
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This report originates from Passport, our Video Games research and analysis database.
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