Published on March 10th, 2013 | by Sir Grim-Dix

Are Japanese Games Making a Comeback?

Not long ago, Japan ruled the gaming industry. All the way from the Nintendo versus Sega battles, through to most of the PlayStation 2 era. But the winds changed with the current generation, as western developers embraced HD and swallowed the global market with arguably higher-quality games – at least from a technical standpoint. In turn, Japan fell behind, with a delayed release for their home-grown Sony PlayStation 3, and out-dated tech running the Nintendo consoles.

In turn, the Western market was losing interest in Japanese games, and the pure lack of retail support and global marketing did not help matters. Only the most popular Japanese games received funding for English translations, and the world started missing out on a lot of great games.

But that downward trend might have turned. Looking at the anime growth in 2012 and pending releases for 2013, I believe the industry is looking at a huge, positive turnaround!

Everywhere I look, a new Japanese game is due for a local, translated release. In this past month we have had titles like: Ni no Kuni, Persona 4 (Vita), Atelier Ayesha, Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection and Hyper Dimension Neptunia: Victory, to name a few. Compared to a few years ago, that’s a lot of Japanese-produced games in a matter only a month or so! We’ve even seen more obscure games available on the Australian PlayStation Network, like Dokuro and Let’s Fish: Hooked On (an Anime fishing game).

Going into 2013, it looks like there’ll be even more translated Japanese games coming up, with titles like: Time and Eternity, The Witch and the Hundred Knights, Disgaea D2, Fire Emblem, Hyper Dimension Neptunia Victory, The Guided Fate Paradox, Tales of Xillia, Pokemon X and Y, Dragon’s Crown, Final Fantasy XIII-3, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Not to mention the announcement for a new Final Fantasy game at the PlayStation 4 unveiling last month. Excuse me if I have missed some… but you get the idea.

Is all of this amazing news due to the announcement of the PlayStation 4 coming at the end of the year? Or do all of our great friends who translate these games for our enjoyment want to get their titles out before the next gen?

My assumption is that it’s a combination effect of all of the above. But one thing’s for sure; 2013 is going to rock, and we’ll be updating you all the “J”-game gossip as it emerges this year, so you can stay on top of it!

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Mad Ranter and J - Enthusiast. DOA 5 Pro wannabe

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