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Japanese Console Gaming Industry Declines to Lowest Point Since 1987

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In 2016, the Japanese console gaming industry recorded its lowest level of revenue for 19 years.

That’s according to an end-of-year report published by leading video games magazine Famitsu, which notes that the total market value of physical games and hardware sales between December 28, 2015 and December 25, 2016 was a little under 300 billion yen; only marginally ahead of the 299 billion recorded in 1987.

Meanwhile, the company also revealed the best-selling games and consoles of the year. Buoyed by the success of Pokémon Sun and Moon, Nintendo’s 3DS was the top-selling system of 2016, shifting 1.87 million units compared to the PS4’s 1.79 million.

Elsewhere, the PS Vita sold 865,000 units, the Famicon Mini shifted 567,000 systems, and the Wii U saw a sharp decline, selling 336,000 consoles compared to over 800,000 in 2015. As expected, Microsoft’s Xbox One performed poorly in the country, amassing only 8,900 sales.

In terms of physical game sales, Pokémon Sun and Moon was the big winner, with 3.2 million units sold; placing it well above second-placed Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sushi / Tempura, which sold 1.4 million units, and third-placed Final Fantasy XV, which sold 860,000.

The full top ten charts for physical game sales is as follows:

  1. Pokemon Sun & Moon – 3,246,222
  2. Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sushi / Tempura – 1,397,436
  3. Final Fantasy XV – 860,127
  4. Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS – 743,388
  5. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 3 – 623,083
  6. Yo-Kai Sangokushi – 563,395
  7. Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sukiyaki – 509,667
  8. Kirby: Planet Robobot – 479,698
  9. Splatoon – 398,251
  10. Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition – 397,607

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