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Japan's game market hits record high as consoles decline and mobile grows

The mobile game market has swelled the size of the Japanese market to dizzying new heights -- but consoles continue to trend downward. That gain is thanks to mobile.

New data from Japanese game mag Famitsu, which closely tracks the country's game market, reveals that the country's game biz has hit an all-time high: $9.6 billion dollars in 2014.

Japan's thriving mobile game business is responsible for a huge chunk of that: $5.8 billion, an 18 percent year-on-year increase.

The news comes to us via analyst Serkan Toto, an expert in the Japanese game biz and CEO of Tokyo-based consultancy Kantan Games.

But the data isn't all rosy: It shows the console game segment shrinking -- both in terms of hardware and software sales, which in 2014 reached their lowest point since 2005, the earliest year in the period tracked in the Famitsu report.

This data jibes with info released last year by Japan's Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association -- an industry organization much like the U.S.' ESA. According to that organization, the console hardware and software market shrank by nearly a billion dollars from 2012 to 2013.

We've reprinted Toto's translation of the Famitsu chart below; note that "online games" includes smartphone, feature phone, and PC games. If you crave more detail, there's more info in Toto's blog post.

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