Game industry posts strong first half in Japan

Handhelds dominate the first semester of fiscal 2006, boosted by DS Lite sales and a host of hit games.

by

Recently released figures of the first half of 2006 paint a clear picture of the Japanese game market: It's one dominated by Nintendo's portable system--but expect the latter half of the year to be a match-up between next-generation systems from Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony.

The latest Weekly Famitsu, dated Friday, August 4, details the results of Japan's gaming market during the first half of the 2006 fiscal year, from December 26, 2005, to June 25, 2006.

Handhelds are dominating the Japanese market. Sales of the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite have reached 4 million units--a 63 percent share of the hardware market, according to Famitsu. The Game Boy Advance SP and Micro hardware picked up a little over 5 percent.

Nintendo's gain in the market contrasted with Sony's loss, as both the market share of the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation Portable dipped. The PS2 dropped out of the dominant position it held in the first semester of 2005, plummeting from 29.6 percent to 13.5 percent. The PSP's share slipped 10 percent from the same period last year, although it managed to sell close to 1 million units, giving it 16.1 percent of the market.

Last but not least, the Xbox 360 sold 64,392 units for a 1 percent share--despite Microsoft's attempt to harness World Cup fever with a limited-edition 360 package featuring the Japanese soccer team's motif.

Compared with the same period in 2005, total hardware sales soared from 4.3 million to nearly 6.2 million units. In software, sales of top 100 titles for all consoles for the first semester of 2006 totaled more than 36 million, up from the roughly 24 million sold in the first half of 2005. Software sales closely mirrored the dominance of the DS in hardware. Of the top 10 selling games, seven were Nintendo DS titles, while three were for the PS2--the opposite of first-semester 2005, when three titles were DS games and the rest PS2 titles.

The period's top game, selling more than 2.5 million copies, was the DS title Kahashima Ryuuta Kyouju Kanshuu: Motto Nou o Kitaeru Otona DS Training--otherwise known as the sequel to Brain Age. Following closely in sales were Final Fantasy XII on the PS2 (about 2.3 million copies) and New Super Mario Bros. on the DS (about 1.7 million copies). Animal Crossing: Wild World on the DS placed fourth, and the original Brain Age was fifth. The remaining top 10 games, in order of popularity, were Eigo ga Nigate na Otona no DS Training: Eigozuke (DS), World Soccer Winning Eleven 10 (PS2), Mario Kart DS (DS), Tetris DS (DS), and Monster Hunter 2 (PS2).

Looking at the top 100 overall, things weren't so lopsided. The PS2 had 45 titles in the top 100, while the DS had 32. The sole Xbox 360 game, coming in at number 72, was Tecmo's Dead or Alive 4, while Konami's Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence made the cut at number 100.

Early 2006 belonged to the DS, but, Famitsu predicted, the latter half of the year will be marked by a three-way struggle between the PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360.

Discussion

90 comments
BYS2
BYS2

LOL... 360 only has 1 game in top 100.. how sad is that microsoft fan boys?

emerald12345678
emerald12345678

well im metal gear fan so im gonna collect this one...wooohoooo emerald rules u stink i wiiiin

serige
serige

no way will wii beat ps3, say goodbye to 360

sicscum
sicscum

nintendo sucks. all they have is the ds.

Lonewolftom87
Lonewolftom87

Yeah A 3 Way Combo form Wii into PS3 and X360 PROCESSORS!!!! FIGHT FOR OUR HONOR WII!!!!!

Shingo
Shingo

Come on MS! FIgure something out! Saying we'll try and then failing and then giving up does not get you anywhere! 1% of the market share isn't going to get you anywhere! P.S. Nintendo rules!

DaemonRacer
DaemonRacer

DS & DS lIte are killing the PSP. Always knew Nintendo had the edge in the handheld market & this proves it. Price, affordability & games are all in Nintendo's favour.

Maquis_UK
Maquis_UK

psp is pretty dead, isnt it? even in Japan, it seems. DS dominating again, eh... those guys n girls have good taste.

Worsley_ngw
Worsley_ngw

I love the fact that I did not buy the 360 I knew that it wouldn't have games and have glitches till the ps3. What I didn't expect was the ds to grab the girls in the batch but they did and that helped with the sales alot cross gender you know

terrabreak13
terrabreak13

The 360 will not be denied. Resistance is futile. They are only 1% now which means they only have one way to go...and it's up. DS wasn't so hot when it came out either, look at it now.

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Another victory for Nintendo!

ChAoS_Maker
ChAoS_Maker

360=crap Wii=okay and ps3= Omfg Must Have!

jasonmacrillo
jasonmacrillo

ds rules the charts :) makes me happy.. the japanese gamers have good taste

SephirothSyZtem
SephirothSyZtem

i can feel why 360 is doing so bad. really theres just not to many games to please the masses. even over here in the states. I have one...and i really regreat getting it so soon. its really just sitting there with me going on live for halo 2 and geometry wars. fun stuff. but i can play halo 2 on my x-box and geometry wars doesnt make me smile i droped 400$ for the system. if gears of war and lost planet or halo 3 dont deliver, well Ill probly sell my x-box360 to my friend or somthing.

shamarke
shamarke

no one like 360 in japan they only like nintendo and playstation.

relset
relset

Nintendo Rulezz, the japaneese know what they want!

SENoLimits
SENoLimits

I'm doing some research on Xbox360 into the Japanese Market, and some comments are very useful here... Thx alot guyz!!!

SENoLimits
SENoLimits

I'm trying to do some research on Xbox-360 into the Japanese Market, and some of these comments are very useful... Thx alot guyz!

Ponsardin
Ponsardin

Anyway, I think those Japanese gamers have way better tastes than my fellow Romanians. And puzzle games aren't rubbish.

Karjah
Karjah

jappenesse gamers have way way diffrent tastes then american gamers they seem to take more of a stand towards RGPS and puzzle games. It's rare to see a good FPS in Japan. Plainly put the Xbox to them to the key market in gaming is worth about as much as a pile of poop. This is why microsoft looses so much money on this. They fail to adapt to cater to Japan's tastes. Nintendo in the meantime and to a lesser extent Sony have decided to try and cover the whole market with all games types rather then focus on a few for it's exclussive titles. that's the BIG diffrence between microsoft and the other gaming giants here. Microsofts exclussive titles are always the same things, shooters, sports and gore. sony has lots of exclussive RPGs and adventure games. While still having those few gory action titles like god of war and devil may cry. Nintendo is well...nintendo they have mario, zelda, metroid. Everything. Problem last generation was a lack of 3rd party support. Microsofts got to learn to adjust it's strategy if it wants in the game industry longterm.

Fiku42
Fiku42

3 way? in japan theres only going to be 2 consoles competing Wii and Ps3 and right now they both seem like they have a even chance at being #1 360 is going to be left in the dust...and ignored like it doesnt even exist...

smoothn00dle
smoothn00dle

faridmon, 2.2 million game sold is very good. Just in Japan, not even release around the world.. FIFA 2006 sold 3.73 unit in the year of World Cup . Over two million is good number by any mean. Only 3 PS2 game in the past two years made it over 6 million mark Gran Turismo 4 GTA San Andreas GTA Vice City and Xbox Halo series are not even close to GTA series

faridmon
faridmon

Final Fantasy just sold 2.3 since launch of the game? is it me or is it really sold poor, usually FF games sells like 5 million in the first month.

elkffx
elkffx

im immpressed that the ds got more money than psp's did

boblighte
boblighte

Remember when people were saying the DS would fail? "What? Two screens? Lame..." "DS must stand for *******." "Yep, that's it, Nintendo has lost it." I love it when haters get proven wrong.

nintendorocks
nintendorocks

The game industry is STILL getting bigger in Japan. No surprise that Nintendo is skyrocketing and Sony is falling. And that Microsoft is pretty much none existent. I guess Japan will never catch onto Xbox.

gamer_10001
gamer_10001

64,000 360s at least some are selling over there, and GO Nintendo.

-expletive-
-expletive-

I know this has been said before, but to suggest that the Japanese are avoiding the XBOX 360 for patriotic reasons really is ridiculous. Do you really think young people in Japan even take something like that into consideration? Its the games, plain and simple. I'm an XBOX 360 owner living in Japan, and although I'm not Japanese, my taste in games is quite Japanese, and right now there just aren't many appealing games out. And the total library is still so small. Add that to the fact that now Street Fighter Turbo on XBOX Live won't be offerered in Japan. Its like a nail in the coffin. Its hard to imagine that Microsoft is truly serious about the Japanese market, considering their actions.

curtizio
curtizio

I think we all want to know Bloodoflamb. She is really odd and totally hasn't been paying attention in the last year!

curtizio
curtizio

juliaryder, you are surprised the DS is better than the PSP? You are phsyco! Where have you been?

curtizio
curtizio

I agree with you homegirl. I really doubt that the 360 is going to do any better than it is currently doing.

Stan_Lee
Stan_Lee

Japanese consumers probably will never buy into a game console by Microsoft or any American developer but I'm positive that a majority of the Japanese use Windows, so, in a way, they actually do support Microsoft.

curtizio
curtizio

I so totally agree with you Guendolin! I hope one day no one will buy anything MS and MS will be destroyed!!

curtizio
curtizio

I like how it is going for Nintendo now! =-) Just as long as they can possibly do this for another year... They will be pretty much be in top spot... by LOTS!

Skylock00
Skylock00

Alright guys, please refrain from either making commentary about Japan's culture based on this in a negative fashion, or using racial slurs. Thanks.

jtvbetta
jtvbetta

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

xbox_gamer1
xbox_gamer1

Come on Japanese the 360 isnt a bad console I love mine!!!

Berserker_2
Berserker_2

The 360 will catch on in Japan since it will be the winner in market share, globally. As one analyst put it, Sony must change or lose. If the price doesn't drop for the PS3, it will lose. The Wii is no different than the Gamecube in terms of marketing and developer support. The Wii is not "cool" in the west. This is critical for any console's success. The Wii has a bad name and uses old technology. In Japan, the Wii will be more attractive, but it won't have the types of games found on the PS2. The 360 will be the only alternative for Japanese developers. So, the 360 will have Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, etc. SquareEnix needs to eat, too.

Digital-Devil
Digital-Devil

Im impressed with Nintendo In the east it is Sony Vs Nintendo, more than likely always will be In the west is Sony Vs Microsoft, and i have a feeling the Wii will get Nintendo back big in the west

crazybleep99
crazybleep99

wow the 360 did that good i thought they sold alot less but still it is nowhere close to what they need to sell a billion like they sed at e3 2005

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

Wow, these comments are starting to devolve and look like the trash found in the System Wars forum. In fact I think I will head there right now and stir the pot. Later.