The Japanese gaming market has experienced a slowdown as of late, a fact that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata acknowledged in an interview with the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. The depression in interest seems to be having a particular impact on Nintendo, considering that March was the first month in which Sony's PlayStation 3 outsold the Wii since the two systems launched in the region at the end of 2006. Nevertheless, Nintendo's Wii remains the clear market leader in Japan.
As reported this week by Famitsu and translated by GameSpot, Japanese game industry tracker Enterbrain said that Wii sales have now surpassed the 8-million-unit mark in the region. The milestone comes roughly five months after the Wii hit the 7-million-unit marker in November. As part of Iwata's keynote address during this year's Game Developers Conference, the Japanese executive revealed that the Wii's global lifetime shipment number stands at 50 million units.
Enterbrain also parsed out the Wii's best-selling games in Japan through April 19. Wii Sports--which does not come as a system pack-in in the region--is the top-selling software on the Wii in Japan, according to Enterbrain, having sold 3.5 million units since launching alongside the console in December 2006. Released nearly a year later to the day later, Wii Fit currently resides in the second slot, having sold 3.3 million units since December 2007.
Enterbrain reports that launch game Wii Play has now sold 2.7 million units in the region, followed by Mario Kart Wii's 2.2 million Japanese units sold since April 2008. Super Smash Bros. Brawl rounds out the top five with 1.8 million units sold in Japan since January 2008.
According to Enterbrain's figures through the end of 2008, the PlayStation 3 stands as the Wii's closest console competitor, having sold nearly 2.7 million units in Japan since 2006. Microsoft's Xbox 360, which has struggled since launching in Japan during December 2005, had sold 866,000 total units in the region, according to Enterbrain's figures from earlier this year. Just yesterday, Microsoft provided official internal numbers of the system's performance, saying that the Xbox 360 has now sold 1 million units in Japan.