PlayStation 5 has sold out in Japan, although it won’t be setting any records. In fact, predictably, this is the second-worst major PlayStation hardware launch in the region (including handhelds) since the PlayStation 2, beaten only by the PlayStation 3. The console sold 118,000 units in four days according to Famitsu, which is down considerably on the PlayStation 4’s much more impressive 322,000 units. For posterity, the PS3 tallied 88,000 units in its first week.
It’s important to note that the PS5 completely sold out in Sony’s home nation, so it couldn’t have done any better without a bigger allocation of stock. There have been reports recently that the platform holder has side-lined Japan in its plans, following the overall decline of home console sales in the country. Regardless of whether that’s true, it looks like it reserved the vast majority of its supply for the United States and Europe.
Of course, Japanese gamers were forced to wait over three months for the PS4 to launch, so it could be argued the situation is better this time around. Perhaps more worryingly is that Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls bombed at retail, selling just 18,000 units apiece. While these numbers don’t include PS Store purchases, the attach rate is unlikely to be anything to shout about really.
Retailers in Japan expect PS5 to be out of stock until the end of the year, so it’s going to be a slow start for the next-gen console in the country. It’ll be interesting to see whether it can pick up the pace in 2021 and beyond, but looking at how the PS4 fared in its last few years, we’re not holding our breath. It looks like the days of home consoles being hits in Japan are long behind us now, and we can’t see them making a comeback in the near future.