The History of Japanese Video Games

Video games are a living element of Japanese popular culture. The video game industry began to dominate Japan in the 1978's and over time dominated the world market. In this article, we are going to talk a little about the influence of Games in Japan.

Nintendo and Sony

The 2 Japanese companies dominated the world market of games, Nintendo remained at the top for many years, but by maintaining Japanese traditionalism and culture, it has lost the war abroad. Sony did the exact opposite, surrendered to western culture, and started to release games with a more realistic or war theme.

Nintendo specializes in creating and developing its own unique games, and often creates consoles with gameplay in mind. Meanwhile, Sony has help from millions of western companies, which release games on their platform for having more robust hardware focused on realistic graphics.

The Microsoft company has not been very successful in Japan, neither in games nor in computers. Some prefer to use Apple's operating system which is quite popular in Japan.

The real war between Sony and Microsoft can be seen in handheld consoles. Nintendo wins this war with its 3DS which is very popular all over the world. While Sony's PSVita has its highest popularity in Japan due to its numerous visual novel games, and anime-based games.

Video games - the history of games in Japan

A player shooting on goal

The famous arcades are very popular in Japan. While in the West they are dying, in Japan there is one machine crazier than another. A very famous company that focuses on releasing Arcade games for Game Center it's Bandai. To talk more about Game Center, which is a very comprehensive subject, I'll leave a video of velberan. By following his channel, you will know a lot about the Japanese Games. Also see your other channel Japan through other eyes.


Another popular game in Japan is the pachinko, a form of Japanese casino. There are pachinko parlors all over the country. Pachinko is big business in Japan – the best thing is that people don't gamble for money, they just play for fun or to exchange for prizes. It is also worth mentioning another gambling machine that is quite popular in Game Center, the one to catch animals with the claws.

Video games - the history of games in Japan

The article is still halfway through, but we recommend also reading:

Visual Novel

Visual novels are very popular games in Japan. Everyone should know that Japanese people like to read a lot, there are countless books, manga and novels. This also happens in video games. Visual Novels are text games, where you interact within a story, make your own decisions. Most of these games are usually romance games, others are even erotic games. There are thousands of visual novels, many end up becoming anime, and some are based on some anime.

Influence of manga and anime in the Games

Thousands of manga and anime games are produced every year, most of them are Visual Novel, it is still possible to find good adventure, fighting and strategy games. Most of these games are released on portables, especially Sony's.

There are also thousands of good games that ended up getting adapted into an anime or manga, and even live-action movies. We have the example of the famous Pokemon, and a very popular Visual Novel called Steins;Gate that had a great adaptation, and the most recent anime God Eater.

God eater

Talking about the games in Japan is something quite complicated, it was not possible to cover even 1% of what there is to talk about. This was just a short summary. Is that you? What is your opinion about games in Japan? What's your favorite style? Do you have anything to say? Leave your comment!

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