The Japanese video games market grew by 1.2 per cent year-on-year for the 12 months ending March 31st.
No, that is not a typo. It’s the first annual growth the Japanese industry has reported in five years.
Tech In Asia reports that the region’s games market hit $4.6bn in the period. Software sells were still down, however, falling by 1.2 per cent to $2.8bn. It was a better story for hardware, though, which grew a whopping five per cent to $1.8bn.
Certainly the likes of 3DS and to a lesser extent the Vita and PS3 have enjoyed a boom period over the last 12 months.
The numbers are a welcome surprise and could offer hope to the struggling western markets.
Although UK and North American data is not available for the 12 months ending March 31st, the UK market reported a saddening 17.4 per cent decline in 2012 while the US saw sales slide by nine per cent in the same period.