The Japan Online Game Association published demographic stats from a survey conducted by the GameAge Research Consulting firm. The results were made available over on 4gamer.net on June 26th, 2018.
With the help of machine translation and a Japanese user over on ResetEra, the community translated some of the more important stats for the audience, including the demographic breakdowns between who owns what system in Japan and what age range makes up the majority.
Mr. Seiichi Mitsui gave a general breakdown of the numbers for May, 2018. Mitsui noted that there were more than 34.23 million gamers accounted for in Japan across multiple gaming devices, including mobile phones, tablets, PCs, and traditional game consoles. Their ages range from 10 to 59 years. As far as active core gamers are concerned, it was pointed out that those who play hardcore dedicated gaming devices and home consoles in Japan are approximately 2.28 million, where-as those who use PCs, mobile phones and tablets clock in at 29.58 million.
They showed a graph breaking down the ownership of the game devices, and what the market saturation is like for each of the devices, and their age range:
The red numbers represent female players while the blue numbers represent male players.
For the Nintendo Switch there were 2.47 million active Switch users during May, 2018. Keep in mind that the Switch has sold 4 million SKUs in Japan, as reported by Nintendo Insider. So more than half of all Switch owners in Japan actively play their device.
The demographic figures break down with majority going to males aged between 10 and 14 years of age. While the 10 through 14 crowd made up 26% of the majority, the next major age group for Switch users were between 25 and 29, making up 9.3% of the demographic. In fact, 74.7% of active Switch users were male, while only 25.3% of active Switch users during the month of May were female. This shows a double digit disparity between the North American stats from last year, where 90% of Switch owners were male.
Sony was even worse, as far as demographic disparity is concerned. For all the clamoring about female gamers needing to be represented in hardcore AAA games, females in Japan aren’t all that interested in playing games on the PS4… at all.
In fact, out of the 3.94 million active users, majority of the numbers skew males aged between 15 and 44 years of age. The most represented demographic for the PS4 in Japan during the month of May were 20 through 24 year-olds, who made up 15% of the age majority. Males were also highly represented overall at 88.2% of the majority. Only 11.8% of the active users for the PS4 and PS4 Pro during May were female.
What’s funny is that while the media can claim that there aren’t enough female characters in games on PS4, there are actually even fewer female leads in major AAA titles on the Nintendo Switch and yet more Japanese women play the Switch than the PS4.
The Nintendo 3DS had similar numbers to the Switch, with 3.49 million active users during the month of May, with a gender demographic ratio of 63.3% of males to 30.7% of females. The numbers also still skew young,with 35.6% of the male and female age demographic landing between 10 and 14 years of age.
Active PC gaming users clocked in at 4.41 million, and the numbers skew mostly males aged 20 through 29 years-old. The numbers are actually more even between active hardcore female gamers and male gamers than PS4 gamers. In fact, 25.8% of active PC users in Japan during May were female.
To no one’s surprise the mobile market is where the numbers mostly even out in Japan, and stay consistent with just about every other research study done regarding active phone usage and mobile phone gaming.
152.7 million active gaming users were accounted for regarding iPhone usage during May. The numbers were practically even, with 52.9% of users being made and 47.1% being female.
Android was also similar with 105.4 million users accounted for during May, with 57% being male and 43% being female, with majority being male and females between 40 and 44 years of age.
The data continues to reinforce the idea that women prefer casual and social gaming, where-as males prefer hardcore dedicated gaming.
While Facebook continues the social engineering program known as “Women In Gaming” in an attempt to enforce more women into the field of gaming as an occupation, and continue to encourage major game studios to replace typically male-oriented games with female stories and characters, the stats continue to show that females just aren’t as interested in hardcore gaming as males.