An expanding market and a penchant for handhelds drove the Steam Deck's Japanese launch

Despite console dominance, Valve thinks Japan could be the fastest-growing PC market in the world

(Image credit: Valve)

Japan’s PC gaming market is rapidly expanding, according to a leading Valve business developer.

Speaking to Automaton Media (opens in new tab) (and translated by GamesRadar+) in a new interview, Valve business developer Erik Peterson was asked why the company chose to launch the Steam Deck in Japan. Peterson began by saying that although “home consoles are dominant in Japan,” the “PC gaming market is larger than you think.”

The Valve developer added that Japan is one of the top 10 markets in the world for gaming in general, and could even be the world’s fastest-growing market. Peterson added that this is the chief reason Valve chose to launch the Steam Deck in Japan, in addition to the “rapidly-growing PC gaming scene in Japan.”

The rapid growth of PC gaming in Japan probably has a lot to do with supply issues surrounding the PS5 and Nintendo Switch, two consoles that one would expect to dominate throughout the country. The former, for example, has actually been outsold twice in recent months by new-gen Xbox systems, an unthinkable prospect just a few short years ago.

With the Switch, production is an ongoing issue, as it has been for well over a year at this point. Nintendo did reiterate last month that it would aim to ramp up production of the Switch in time for the Holidays, so there’s hope yet for the five-year-old console at least. Given the difficulties facing the two most dominant consoles, it’s not hard to see why PC gaming has emerged as a viable alternative to many around the world, let alone Japan.

Here’s all the PS5 Pro rumors and reports catalogued in one place. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.

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