Japanese game sales slide 10.5% during March-Sept.

Enterbrain reports $2.66 billion of game sales in first half of fiscal year, Dragon Quest IX, Pokemon lead Nintendo-platform-only software top 5.

In July, the NPD Group reported that US game industry sales sank 14 percent during the first six months of 2009, with a January-June total of $8.16 billion. Today, Famitsu publisher Enterbrain released its game-industry sales figures for the first half of Japan's standard fiscal year, which runs from March to September.

The DS remains big in Japan.

Translated by GameSpot, the Enterbrain report showed that gamers were more thrifty across the Pacific as well, with six-month game industry revenue falling 10.5 percent from ¥238.9 billion ($2.66 billion) in 2008 to ¥213.7 billion ($2.37 billion) in 2009. Hardware sales fell 15.1 percent to ¥80.9 billion ($901 million), while software sales dipped 7.5 percent to ¥132.9 billion ($1.48 billion).

In the platform races, the Nintendo DS came out on top in the half-year marathon, selling just under 1.7 million units. That figure includes the DSi, introduced last November in Japan. Buoyed by the Monster Hunter Freedom Unite* craze, Sony's PSP sold more than 813,600 units. And thanks to the introduction of the PlayStation 3 Slim, the Wii and PS3 nearly tied, selling 594,398 units and 581,676 units, respectively. The Xbox 360, which has never really caught on in Japan--Star Ocean: The Last Hope excepted--sold barely over 137,000 units in six months.

Nearly 4 million Japanese went Dragon Questing on the DS.

Enterbrain also posted its top five software titles for the March-September period, which were all either for the Wii or for the DS. Square Enix's DS role-playing game Dragon Quest IX prevailed with more than 3.9 million units sold, and Pokemon-mania showed no signs of abating, with Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver selling more than 2 million copies on the DS. Wii Sports Resort brought the Wii MotionPlus to nearly 1.2 million consumers, with the Sims-like Tomodachi Collection bringing mini-Miis to 1.15 million Japanese. Last but not least, Capcom's Monster Hunter 3 Tri, the first third-party game to be bundled with Wii hardware, sold more than 908,000 units during the half year.

Japanese game sales, March-Sept. 2009: ¥213.7 billion ($2.38 billion)
Japanese game sales, March-Sept. 2008: ¥238.9 billion ($2.66 billion)

Japanese hardware sales, March-Sept. 2008:
Nintendo DS: 1,698,818 units (27,851,784 units life-to-date)
PSP: 813,604 (12,618,193 LTD)
Wii: 594,398 (8,547,552 LTD)
PlayStation 3: 581,676 (3,591,071 units LTD)
Xbox 360: 137,059 (1.13825 million units LTD)

Japanese software top 5, March-Sept. 2009:
1) Dragon Quest IX (DS, Square Enix): 3,925,285 units
2) Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver (DS, Nintendo): 2,067,609 units
3) Wii Sports Resort (Wii, Nintendo) 1,194,491 units
4) Tomodachi Collection (DS, Nintendo) 1,156,103 units
5) Monster Hunter 3 Tri (Wii, Capcom) 908,693 units

*=The game is called Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G in Japan.

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Discussion

60 comments
KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

I dont know why people always have to make excuses for why a console is not selling well. granted maybe some Japanese prefer to stick with there products, but i'm sure they are not the majority, and even if they were, it obviously didnt stop them from buying 360 when good RPGs came out for it because 360 had high sales at those times. seems pretty obvious to me that even though people might TRY and say PS3 and 360 are the same, they truly are a world apart. 360 strengths are it's FPSs, where as PS3 in my opinion is well balance, with dominance in some areas. Japanese dont seem to care much for FPS, thus the reason why it doesnt do well there....

Stoneys_Rock
Stoneys_Rock

Yay maybe they won't treat the rest of the world like rotten pieces of stuff your shoe steps in now. Roll on better release dates.

StarlightHunter
StarlightHunter

@scarface_dm, I agree with your Xbox comment but unfortunatley Japanese buy Japanese made and thats the way it will allways be. Somehow an FPS Halo ODST made it into the top 10 best sellers in Japan which is good for Microsoft and very supprising seeing that Japanese rarely like shooters.

FF_fan2004
FF_fan2004

In the long term, I think that games will still be there. In the future, there's bound to be better consoles than the current ones, and there will be sales. Unless the entire human race is extinct, then sales would just be zero. Sorry bad joke there.

OwnageGuy
OwnageGuy

Maybe its decreasing cause nearly everyone who wanted a console already bought a console. and now nearly everyone got a console so yeah. u get my point

Doolum
Doolum

With so many PS3 sold maybe Capcom can rethink about MHtri Wii Exclusivity

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

@FF_fan2004, I'd say its a factor but not the main one

FF_fan2004
FF_fan2004

And nothing to do with the recession then I take it.

leeko_link
leeko_link

The J island is dropping in sales, big deal, compare to the rest of the world, this doesn't surprise me one bit. They do had a smaller population of gamers than we do so it's unstandable that their sales drop so suddenly.

frazzle00
frazzle00

@flyingteddy The Japanese market has been in decline now for quite a while, so much so that doing well in Japan only isn't good enough anymore. This would explain why Japanese videogame companies are increasing their focus on Western markets. The Japanese market is still significant however (I think it's the third biggest games market behind the US and Europe) so ignoring it completely would not be a good strategy. Let's also not forget that gaming is a bigger part of Japanese culture than it is American or (the various) European cultures. I guess MS, Sony and Nintendo think that the decline may not be a permanent trend :).

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

I believe that if u guys stop making children games like Imagine or Hello Kitty or whatsoever and focus on making decent games for us, the sell rate wouldn't fall this bad. Nintendo can only sell games like Mario, Zelda, RE, Pokemon, Metroid and Wii Sports well, but not for retarded games like Wii music or such gal games. :(

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

what happened to japan they use to be cool in the days of the saturn and the dreamcast. it seems things have really turned around gaming is actually bigger in the west than japan now

riariases
riariases

Wow, Nintendo games sell like marijuana to James Blunt. I'm pretty excited to play most of them too.

jamesAboy19
jamesAboy19

wow...epic fail for MH3....i was expecting atleast 1.5-2mil by now :( BRING ON THE EU RELEASE!!

rpgisforme
rpgisforme

This really has no bearing to just the average gamer but it's always an interesting read anyway. I'm glad that Sony is picking up the slack. Why? Because I own 2 of em. The more consoles sold, the better games and exclusives coming my way..... that's all. WTG Sony. Keep it up.

calebcop
calebcop

OK the sales dropped, this affects me how?

cytheh
cytheh

just changed from alchemist to chemist and the guy is back!

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

@Cl0ud Even though you find Wi-Fi useless. You have to keep in mind that not all people have access points near enough to wire up with an Ethernet cable. For example, I used to be unable to have an Ethernet cable between the Access Point and the console, because of the distance being too long and the AP was downstairs while console was upstairs. Just because you don't need nor want it, doesn't mean it's so for everyone. Some people DO need Wi-Fi. As for Live; I don't really know what's so "better" in Peer to Peer servers compared to dedicated. The only thing I can possibly imagine being better are the headsets, which can also be considered a bad thing, because of all the 12 year olds in the microphone whining and screaming all the time. But, whatever.

XeonForce
XeonForce

@SalarianChemist I don't think people really care that much about sales figures, let alone sales figures from last year. Personally I think it's hard to warrant an article based on a 10% bi-annual sales increase/decrease; seems kinda pointless to me. This is basically an interpretation of "the price of tea in china". =P

nemesi609
nemesi609

@ fps_dominator while microsoft is surely losing in japan, it is far from a one sided battle everywhere else. what do you mean 10 players online? live has the MOST players on, and hate to break it to you, but just because psn is free doesnt make it better, you get what you pay for. sure i would like wifi, and with blu ray becoming the main format of the future, the ps3 has the 360 there, but saying it has the best exclusives is a huge error on your part. if anything, you could easily argue the opposite, but either way both consoles have great exclusives. before you bring in your ignorant fanboy blasphemies, check your facts young man.

nemesi609
nemesi609

while console sales dipping is to be expected, even with the economy, i would think that software sales would go up a bit. is the economy that much worse than last year? i could be wrong, but if more people have consoles than wouldnt they sell more software in general? i hope its just he lack in AAA titles, and not a sign of things to come.

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

@frazzle00, yes I agree with you, and I'm pretty sure the slim will close the gap between the wii. The other odd thing is MS trying to get into the Japan market which we are being told is declining, while the Japanese companies are trying to break into the West to counter their local marketplace declining.

frazzle00
frazzle00

@flyingteddy Looking at the sales figures for the other consoles, you can see that both the PS3 and the 360 are struggling in Japan (we'll have to wait and see if the Slim version rectifies this for Sony). 3.5 million consoles sold in what's now approaching 3 years, is far from great for Sony, especially considering the fact that the PS2 was such a mammoth success in Japan (and everywhere else). The 360 on the other hand has outsold its predecessor the Xbox (and yes that was an easy task I know given how unpopular the original Xbox was). Still this indicates that MS are making inroads into what everyone knew would be a very difficult market for them to crack. The Xbox 360 still has a few years left in its lifecycle (I've heard "experts" throw around numbers like 2012 and 2013) so there is plenty of time for the 360 to further work its way into the hearts of Japanese gamers. Will it outsell either the PS3 or Wii in Japan? Definitely not. Have MS taken a positive step towards getting greater acceptance of their (console) brand in Japan? I would say definitely yes. Remember that MS are most probably looking at the long term instead of simply focusing on short term success.

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

@frazzle00, If sony only sold 1 million units in the usa then yeah i would have said they were dead. my point was that MS has tried very hard to break into japan even to the extent of getting exclusive RPGs onto the system, and that still failed to outsell the ps3, it was a great strategy it just failed. so time to leave japan and focus on usa and europe, use the money for more 1st party titles for example

frazzle00
frazzle00

@flyingteddy What in the world are you talking about? Look at the life to date (LTD) sales. Sony has sold 3.6 million units. MS have sold 1.13 million units. So Sony have only sold around 2.5 million units more than MS in Japan. MS on the other hand have sold close to 8 million units more of the 360 in the US. Are Sony dead in the US? Should they just give up on the US altogether? Yeah right buddy.

otaku_momo
otaku_momo

@greenarcher02 360 outsold ps3 for a couple of weeks, and it was because the ps3 was out of stock, around the time the slim was announced

greenarcher02
greenarcher02

... i think 360 outsold PS3 on one month... or a few maybe.... when Tales of Vesperia came out i think...... .. unfortunately, the game was remade in japan for the PS3....

ChamomileBaths
ChamomileBaths

It's getting to be like the DVD player was 6 years ago. Don't improve the console, there are many other things that need improving. It's like DVD players because the tech is there. Just do stuff with it. Not like make-up, no eye-liner. Games, a useful add-on hardware, like a cd attachment, and nothing else.

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

Salarian, It took a game like Star Ocean to shift units and even that didn't shift enough to make a dent in the ps3 sales overall. The 360 is dead in Japan, MS should just save their cash and focus on what is it strong at.

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

@ scarface_dm thats the problem with people like u. you want everyone to change to stuff you like. the japs have a good reason for buying the PS3. best hardware, best upcoming titles, free online, dedicated servers on exclusives. got a problem with that? or do u want em to get an xbox so they can play 10 players online and have to replace their AA batteries or pay more for a play and charge kit in addition to a wifi adaptor. maybe if u were on the right side you would have a bit of an arguement going on........."PS3 or xbox" is becoming a one sided arguement now.

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

@ SalarianChemist 360 outselling ps3 in japan is rare. you might also want to note that in 2008 ps3 outsold xbox when it was more expensive and didnt have a fraction of the titles xbox did..........i could make it sound big like u did but truth is that only figures matter is when consoles are discontinued. xbox and wii has had its sales time.........its ps3's turn. 1 million units in 3 weeks.......thats gonna happen again when the 250gb version is released. mark my word, by the time ps3 is discontinued it will have more sales then xbox 360.

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

@scarface_dm: I agree with you 100%. Last generation the PS2 had the strongest lineup of games in every genre except first person shooters. This generation Xbox 360 has the strongest lineup of games in every genre -- including niche genres such as JRPG, RPG, Real-Time Strategy, Puzzle, Party, Platform, and other genres popular in Japan. I really am glad to see that the Xbox 360 has achieved all of Microsoft's sales goals in order to allow the next Xbox console to compete for the top spot from the start of its life. I really do wish this information would have included the data from the 4th quarter of 2008 in Japan, where the Xbox 360 did outsell the PS3 in Japan thanks to all the great RPG games such as Infinite Undiscovery, Tales of Vesperia, Star Ocean, and The Last Remnant. Each time one of those games was launched exclusively for Xbox 360, it caused a huge spike in Xbox 360 sales that Microsoft really should be proud of.

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

wahyudil
wahyudil

wow .... Monster Hunter Tri is almost platinum

frazzle00
frazzle00

@kamizuka Your maths must be pretty poor. The Wii has sold more than twice what the PS3 has sold in Japan (8,547,552 vs. 3,591,071). Given the fact that in the previous generation the PS2 absolutely destroyed (in terms of sales) both the Xbox and GC in Japan, things are not going all that well for Sony this generation. Secondly when it comes to games quality there is no gold standard. It is purely subjective. Just because you don't like a game doesn't make it bad; just because you like a game doesn't make it good. Only a 10 year old would think that their opinion is the only one that exists in the world :).

kamizuka
kamizuka

'The PS3 has barely sold more than 3 times the number of 360' yea and it is "almost" selling like the Wii ppl buy the ps3 because it is cheaper (you know every thing built in, free online) and guss what BETTER GAMES and SalarianChemist every time you start posting xbox exclusive you just post them all the, crappy ones, and on XBLm and the ones on PC

sergioalb64
sergioalb64

Just FYI, the DS Lite itself sold slightly more than the Wii. The DS as a whole is an unstoppable hardware seller, worldwide!

frazzle00
frazzle00

The PS3 has barely sold more than 3 times the number of 360 units. That was definitely not the case last generation. MS has made some inroads into the Japanese market :).

Kyuubi_Vegetto
Kyuubi_Vegetto

@scarface_dm So the japanese don't give a flying fudge about the 360 who cares? we didn't give a flying fudge about the Saturn or the Dreamcast but you don't see any Japanese gamers upset about that do you?

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

@scarface_dm its because the xbox had a TERRIBLE game selection which the Japanese werent interested in in the least. The thing about Japan is that it is product loyalty, but it is also game interest. Notice the genre differences between Western and Asian games overall. Very different interests and unfortunately even with the number of WRPGs coming out the 360 still doesnt have a big game selection the Japenese care to play.

scarface_dm
scarface_dm

Im so sick of Japanese loyalty to there products, they dont even give 360 which is a great console a chance, I wish we over here in America would do the same with there products maybe they would stop with the Bs!!

Typhlosion001
Typhlosion001

pokemon heartgold/soul silver only came out 2 weeks ago. and this reports dates back to march so yea its kinda not exact to compare

Shmoe82
Shmoe82

I love Dragon Quest and I wish I had a PSP atleast for this game. I wish they would have made the next for PS3. :(

k0r3aN_pR1d3
k0r3aN_pR1d3

@ xmyles104212 - When something called decent games are released. But what am I talking about, this is Japan, where people abhor Batman: Arkham Asylum, Fallout 3, Resident Evil 5, Halo 3: ODST, etc etc and rather pick up Pokemon. I won't be surprised if Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 hardly sells any copies in Japan since it is Pokemania of 1999 all over again.

ElJay2010
ElJay2010

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

xialon
xialon

Poor little Japan.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

I think it's interesting that this sales information does not include the 4th quarter of 2008 in Japan. It's common knowledge that the 4th quarter of the year sees sales double in October, double again in November, and then triple in December. This happens almost every year in every territory of the world. The reason why I am pointing this out as something significant is because from August to December of 2008 the Xbox 360 outsold the PS3 in Japan thanks to the exclusive releases of great RPG games like Tales of Vesperia, Infinite Undiscovery, Star Ocean, and The Last Remnant. This sort of thing is important. I remember the one year when the original Xbox outsold the Gamecube for the entire year by a wide margin, but when Nintendo lowered the price to $99 at the end of the year it increased sales so much that the Gamecube actually had higher sales totals for the year.