The revenue generated from boxed game sales dropped seven percent year-on-year and continues to fall in value. According to sales data published by neogaf and Famitsu, in 2016, hardware and software revenue dropped to ¥299.48bn from 2015’s ¥320.97bn.
This is one of the lowest year for the Japanese games on record, based on figures available. 1987 saw ¥299bn generated by games and console sales, meaning that this is potentially the lowest point in 29 years for Japan’s boxed market.
Hardware revenue fell ten per cent to ¥117.05bn, while software sales brought in ¥182.43bn – a four per cent decline.
Pokémon Sun and Moon were the best-selling games of the year, shifting 3.2m units between them. The duo charted the way ahead of rival 3DS monster games, Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sushi Tempura, which sold 1.4m units. Final Fantasy XV sold 860,127 copies, charting in third place, ahead of the 3DS SKU of Super Mario Maker, which sold 742,388 units.
Two more Yo-Kai Watch SKUs made it into the Top Ten – Sangokushi in sixth place, and Sukiyaki in seventh.
All of this is physical sales information, thus doesn’t take into consideration Japan’s digital market. Though games retail in Japan is primarily physical, the region has a booming mobile market which is not represented in this data.
Over in the hardware charts, Nintendo’s 3DS – including all of its various SKUs/form factors – was the best-selling console in Japan for 2016. The machine shifted 1.9m units, a 14.4 percent dip on 2015’s 2.2m units.
Meanwhile, Sony’s PS4 – and PS4 Pro – sold 1.8m, an increase of 49 percent year-over-year. The Vita came in third place, with sales dipping ten per cent.
Nintendo’s Wii U sold 336,151 copies, with sales falling 59 percent. Microsoft’s Xbox One came in fifth place, with 8,897 units sold. That’s a decline of 50 percent.
1. Pocket Monster Sun/Moon (Pokémon) 3DS – 3,246,222
2. Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sushi/Tempura (Level 5) 3DS – 1,397,436
3. Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix) PS4 – 860,127
4. Super Mario Maker (Nintendo) 3DS – 743,388
5. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 3 (Square Enix) 3DS – 623,083
6. Yo-Kai Sangokushi (Level 5) 3DS – 563,395
7. Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sukiyaki (Level 5) 3DS – 509,667
8. Kirby: Planet Robobot (Nintendo) 3DS – 479,698
9. Splatoon (Nintendo) Wii U – 398,251
10. Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition (Sony) Vita – 397,607
Hardware Top Ten (December 28th, 2015 – December 25th, 2016):
1. Nintendo 3DS (including 3DS LL, New 3DS, New 3DS LL, 2DS) – 1,874,457
2. PS4 (including PS4 Pro) – 1,790,883
3. PS Vita (including Vita TV), 865,002
4, Wii U – 336,151
5. Xbox One (including Xbox One S) – 8,897