Much like the philosophised death of the theatre and the cinema thereafter, publications, gaming personalities, and tech moguls alike have been falling over one another to announce the death of video game consoles. They've been saying it for years and a lot of people thought that Microsoft's XBOX One and Sony's PS4 would fail to connect with a modern audience. Well, we know how that turned out.
Console gaming is very much alive and well, you could even say it's thriving! However, the situation isn't exactly the same with our friends across the water in Japan. Allegedly mobile gaming and portable consoles are far more popular on the Japanese isle than home consoles (the Xbox One is basically dead there). However some feel that the release date of Final Fantasy 15 could be quite the jolt for consoles in Japan.
Could the Release Date Of Final Fantasy 15 Give The Japanese Console Market A Jolt?
A recent article in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei Shinbun, discussed the arrival of Final Fantasy 15 along with Dragon Quest XI and how both of these titles are expected to sell one million copies each. They felt that these two franchises have a significant fanbases which could influence the sales of console units in 2016.
It's strange to talk about Final Fantasy 15 in this way, because we know that this title is likely to excel when it gets its release date in the West. I'll certainly be buying it, and I'm sure millions more will join me. However, while Japanese publications are hopeful for Final Fantasy 15's sales, they aren't so sure that its gameplay will go down well with the country's population.
Modernizing Gameplay On Xbox One & PS4
Any fan of modern JRPGs has a fairly good understanding of the state of modern game design in Japan. While there have been a lot of improvements over the turn-based systems of yesteryear, the gameplay mechanics of most role-playing games haven't really evolved. When something works in Japan, it seems to stay that way. That's why there's been quite a big rift between Japan and the West in terms of sharing games. We've both gone in very different directions.
But Final fantasy 15 is attempting to bridge that gap. If you played the Final Fantasy 15 Episode Duscae demo, you'll know that Square Enix have taken the series in a very different direction. Developers spoke about how they wanted to embrace the design of Western RPGs, in an effort to captivate fans all over the world. That's why Final Fantasy 15 is kind of a mixture of the original Final Fantasy series and western RPGs like Skyrim.
While this is certainly intriguing to us, Japanese publications think that the change of pace will upset fans of the Final Fantasy series in Japan (though it could even do that here). It may be hard for them to adjust to this new style of gameplay, especially if mobile gaming is as popular as they say. Though action games are very popular across the water.
While the broadening of gameplay mechanics may influence sales of Final Fantasy 15 in the West, we may see something completely different occur in Japan. What do you think about the changes to the Final Fantasy series and the state of modern gaming in Japan?