PlayStation hardware sales were one of the worst in recent times with the combined sales of PS4 and PS5 unable to achieve 1M sales in 2020.
This hasn’t happened since all the way back in 1994 when the PlayStation brand was still in its infancy. While the PS5 is having issues with shipment might be a major cause of these lackluster sales, Sony apparently still didn’t allocate enough stock for Japan.
The graph below details the sales data of the PlayStation Hardware in Japan from 1994 until 2020, courtesy of ResetERA. This sales data is compiled from Famitsu.
According to the latest sales result from Famitsu, Sony’s PS5 sold roughly 265K units as of January 3 while the PS4 sold 542K units in Japan last year. It has achieved lifetime sales of just over 9.3 million in Japan, which is a far cry from the Nintendo Switch at 17.3 million. It is also tracking below the PS3, which achieved just over 10 million sales in Japan.
Sony appears to have taken the message of the lower sales of PlayStation hardware negatively instead of trying to improve the situation in their native country. There have been reports that the company has shifted its focus to other markets, mainly the United States and Europe, after the rather disappointing performance of the PS4 which was a mega success in the rest of the world.
The shift in focus away from Japan means Sony has now changed the default controller button layout for the PlayStation 5 in Japan where O was used for confirmation on almost every previous PlayStation console instead of X like the rest of the world. It can also be linked to the lower stock and lack of shipments for the PS5 in Japan, which has contributed to a soft debut for the console.