Sony on top as Japanese game market sinks 14%

PSP sells 2.6 million, PS3 sells 1.4 million in island nation during 2010, reports Enterbrain; Pokemon Black and White, Monster Hunter Portable 3 top sellers.

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When the NPD Group used to release hardware sales numbers for the US market, the PSP regularly finished dead last in the platform race. However, in Japan, it's a different story, as titles such as Monster Hunter Portable 3rd and Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection have boosted the fortunes of Sony's portable since it was introduced in the territory in 2004.

The PSP was the top system in Japan during the 12 months ended March 31, 2011.

Last week, Famitsu publisher Enterbrain released its sales figures for the 12 months ended March 31, 2011, which proved the PSP's popularity in Japan again. According to a translation by gaming blog Andria Sang, the portable sold 2,640,499 units (including the PSP Go) during the period, bringing its life-to-date sales to 16,867,853 units. That was good enough to beat the DS family of systems (not including the 3DS), which sold 2,523,142 units during the year. Life-to-date, the DS, DSi, and DSi LL (known as the DSi XL in the West) have sold 32,598,870 units. The 3DS, which launched in Japan on February 26, sold 801,423 units during just over a month on the market.

Sony could also claim victory on the console front--barely. During the 12-month period, the PlayStation 3 sold 1,407,126 units in Japan, bringing its lifetime total there to 6,341,950 units. That tally was enough to just edge out the Wii's 1,397,498-unit haul, which bring its life-to-date sales to 11,534,590. The Xbox 360 was a distant third with 195,563 units, bringing its Japanese life-to-date total to 1,448,665 units.

On the software side, not even Capcom's Monster Hunter Portable 3rd could beat back the force that is Pokemon. Combined, Pokemon Black and White were the number one game of the year, selling 5,149,022 units compared to Monster Hunter Portable 3rd's 4,372,182 units. Wii Party came in third place with 1,826,857 units, followed by Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 with 1,283,423 units. Super Mario Galaxy 2 just missed the million-seller-mark with 956,853 copies sold.

While on the surface Enterbrain's sales figures seem robust, they actually indicated a decline from the prior 12-month reporting period. Overall, the Japanese game market sank nearly 14 percent to ¥472.6 billion ($5.6 billion). Hardware was the hardest hit, with sales falling 21 percent to ¥170.7 billion yen ($2.0 billion), while software slid 9.3 percent to ¥301.9 billion ($3.6 billion).

Discussion

83 comments
stephenbarr
stephenbarr

@wiidsduelpack the psp is not outselling the 3ds. it outsold the DS lol.

Ryking
Ryking

@DarkGamerkill Harsh? Not at all, because I do see your point but at the same time i don't. Using your analogy, wouldn't you want to try that other ice cream? I've got all 3 systems and I'm happy with all of them.

octotoke
octotoke

I think the 3ds has a lot of potential, psp just seems more appealing initially because of the game selection.

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

The Wii is selling 10,000 or down each week in Japan. Its dead. PS3 is about 25,000 or higher PSP is outselling the 3DS after 3 or 4 weeks. Does that sounds like the 3DS flopped or needs games

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

@TTdog - agreed..... but even worse was one of the reports that I saw very soon after the event. A news reporter was in a helicopter surveying the damage and explaining stuff to camera, when they started to explain how the earthquake occured before the Tsunami. As they were explaining the power and magnitude of the quake, they decided to explain it in a way that we could understand, and this in their words, the earthquake was (x)-times more powerful than the bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima(!) I nearly fell off my chair.... if there's ONE thing you DON'T want to compare this disaster to, it's THAT - the poor Japanese people don't need reminding of that when they're dealing with this recent slew of incidents... some people just don't think before they speak/type. On topic - great news for Sony. Good to see the PS3 sales beat the Wii in this territory too :)

DarkGamerkill
DarkGamerkill

@Ryking Its not that japan is racist to other countries inventions. Its called being loyal. Back when the ps1 first came out they dident have the xbox or Microsoft they had Sony and the ps1 so japan fell in love with it and when the ps2 came out and upgraded version of the thing they already love of course its gonna be popular but when say a new thing like xbox comes out in japan when they already have the ps2 there gonna go with the ps2 because they already used to it and its only predictable when the ps3 comes out its gonna do better than xbox in japan.. its kinda like eating your favorite ice cream and then a different ice cream pops up in the market are you gonna go with the new ice cream in which is totally new to you or the one you trust and know is good? Hope i wasn't to harsh in explaining this.

aryanbrar
aryanbrar

my lil pony my lil pony ohwait wrong topic :(

phoenix729
phoenix729

@PixelAddict The after effects of the recession are only just beginning to be felt here in Britain (you sound british too so i assume you know what i'm talking about), every week there is another story about benefit cuts, tax increases and filling the £100 billion hole in the budget. These increases in taxes will continue throughout the year i suspect and that is going to put people off buying consoles. They need to scrap the NHS really, its too much of a money blackhole in times like these No I don't know anyone with a 3DS either, my friends are certainly interested in it but they can't justify the cost against the time they'd have to play it and the weak launch titles. Personally, I'm a big fan of handheld gaming, I like to have the football on in the background or whatever my girlfriend is watching/playing. I find console gaming isolates me from my family

TTDog
TTDog

Surely they could have come up with a better words than "sinks" considering what has happened in Japan recently.

Ryking
Ryking

@ Koushin I see where you're coming from but as an avid gamer, I'm always looking for games that are under the radar and don't get a lot of advertising. Hell, I'm still finding games for last gen that I never knew existed and some of them are pretty damn good. There's several games that I know of that are released only in Japan that I would love to get my hands on if there was some sort of translation. That's just me personally though.

19wert
19wert

Don't even try to go near Pokemon...

Koushin
Koushin

@Ryking It's not that the hardware is from an American company that is the problem. The problem is as companies in Japan have focused on getting developers to make more games for the Western market (Uncharted, MAG, Assassin's Creed, Killzone, GTA, etc.) the same hasn't been done in reverse by Microsoft with the same level of urgency. Microsoft does not focus its efforts enough on making AAA Japanese marketed titles on its platform. Rather, it relies on its Western library alone. Imagine you're a Japanese consumer and you walk into your local game store and you see a wall of games. You see the stuff you recognize, have come to love, or have heard good things about in game related media. Then you find the XBOX360 section and it's just a bunch of translated Western games. There are no attempts by Microsoft to properly advertise these games (so you won't see it in mainstream Japanese media) and perhaps only the video game magazine or site will mention its release. The only indicator is if it sells a lot of units abroad. So you could take a chance and try it out. Slowly, AAA Western titles in Japan by customers are getting more attention and praise but it's going to take time. I just had to say it because a lot of people overseas don't know how it is from the Japanese perspective and make too many wild observations/speculations.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

@phoenix729 I agree the console sales will slide some, but not because of the recession. Things are better this year than they have been last year and the year before. Things are improving, and I suspect software sales (and maybe hardware sales) will be better this year when compared to prior year. Also... the 3DS. I don't know a single person buying this. Possibly because all my mates are over 35 (which is, coincidently, the average age for gamers). I don't see a lot of 35+ gamers buying the 3DS when they can play Crysis 2 on their 46"+ LCD's... nah.

IdolConverge
IdolConverge

Jeez, as far as sales go, don't even try to mess with Pokemon man...

jcbullen
jcbullen

@Victorious_Fize Thanks :P

Recboy
Recboy

DYNASTY WARRIORS 7 IS AWSOME!.............Must.make GS Happy.

iamrob7
iamrob7

PC Outselling all you fools combined!!! In every market!!! The reason being is that only people 12 and under want to actually play on consoles and the majority of the world is over 12 years of age. (Disclaimer : Do not take seriously. This is a joke directed at the rather tiresome console bickering)

swamptick
swamptick

Why am I not surprised how few people understood the numbers here? The market is down and contracting. Being on top of this shriveling market is not neccessarily a good thing. I hope the Japanese market recovers. As it stands now, if you combine the states of California and Florida, you have a MUCH larger consumer market from JUST those two states than you do in Japan.

TheMoreYouOwn
TheMoreYouOwn

@swamptick Actually, warhawk is correct about the price and sales of 360. The vast majority of the 360's audience isn't much different than the Wii's. It's primarily kids, who's parent purchased the console for them. And being a parent, the majority will go for the cheaper console.

swamptick
swamptick

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

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

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

swamptick
swamptick

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

Victorious_Fize
Victorious_Fize

@jcbullen Dude, your avatar and that last line are so much win.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@sleepnsurf The 360 sold so well in the West because it was the stripped-down cheaper console. That's all there is to it. No conspiracy theories there.. If there's ever a choice in life then the cheaper option will always sell better. However, the Playstation sells better in Japan because of the titles that the system gets. Done and dusted.

Crash_WL
Crash_WL

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

phoenix729
phoenix729

@ PixelAddict Very ture, as the consoles come to the end of their lifetimes, the effect of the global recession really starts to hit peoples wallets and mobile phone gaming takes off, I wouldn't be surprised to see all consoles sales (hardware) taking a 40% hit by march 2012. I suspect the 3DS wil be the only big selling gaming device this year

sleepnsurf
sleepnsurf

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

utopiangames
utopiangames

ryking - kind of see what you mean but the piece also focuses very much on how the psp has performed well against the ds (both japanese products), unlike other territories. The culture there is so different from the US and Europe this will obviously transfer to tastes in games/consoles etc.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@psx_warrior Dude you're lucky. Going on what you said petrol for your car costs about 88p a litre.. where as in britain we're paying 130p a litre. You've got it good man! Trust.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@chrispicard So does your mum. Hahahaha. Sorry.. Couldn't resist :P

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

"Japanese game market sinks" No-one else think that's a tad risky for an article title? Just pointing that out there.. Good to see Sony doing well though :) woop

phoenix729
phoenix729

I love monster hunter, I'm so glad it came out on the wii. Would have sucked if I'd missed out because it don't have a PS3. But an 8 month gap between japan and UK MHP3??! Thats mid 90s release date madness. What exaclty are they doing, it doesn't even have multiplayer support

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

I'm happy for sony, Personally I like them being on top becuase I feel it makes nintendo produce better quality games, and Being that I like all the systems made by everyone for different personal reasons, it gives me more pleasure outta my gaming. But, how come whenever Gamespot shows the sales of the 360 they can't do it like this.... compare it to the rest of the world I mean. its always only in the US but when it comes to sony verse Nintendo its a new story....Just making Nintendo look bad now? I'm just saying if you can do it to compare Sony and Nintendo you can do it with the 360 too.

Ryking
Ryking

well i'll probably get thumbs down for this but i'm just gonna say it: microsoft doesn't do well in japan because it's an american product. I'm not saying the people of japan are racists, just that they don't seem to really trust outside of their country products all too well. sony and/or nintendo could release a total flop in the next gen wars and it would probably still sell better than microsofts next gen offering.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@ oxjackiechan Hey look buddy,I'm a die-hard Nintendo fan myself,but even I found that post a bit irritating.Yes the numbers show that in the world,Nintedo has sold more consoles.But talking about how the 3DS sales will obliterate Sony's sales is outright fanboy-ism,and just the start of a big flame war.What on earth does it even matter to you?We don't buy consoles and then meet up at a place with our friends who bought competitors' products just to compare who's console has sold more do we?What does the winner get?Will Nintendo be sending you a check? Gaming is about fun,and nearly everyone on GS has forgotten that and they practically get in fistfights over who's toy is better.Then someone comes and says something simple like,"I like 360" and he gets thumbed to death.Can people even have a normal conversation anymore without the interruption of killer thumbs?

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

I don't know why people seem surprised at the drop in hardware sales. between all three home systems over 165 million consoles have been sold,and we're in a recession.Plus you can add the portables to that total,and the DS alone nearly doubles it.Hardware sales will sink. I also find it interesting to note that while Xbox is the leading HD console in the US,in other places it falls quite far behind PS3.Worldwide it's a pretty close battle between the two.

moxyz1
moxyz1

japan shrinks not sinks come on GS. Maybe playing to many violent games has lowered your sympathy ,,lol.

Danielfrancis86
Danielfrancis86

The amount of good japanese titles making it over to western markets is already dwindling, I hope the 14% shrink doesnt mean a downward spiral for the industry.

CorruptGamerGX
CorruptGamerGX

Oh look, another bitter troll. First of all, MHP3rd came out in December of last year 2 months BEFORE 3DS even hit Japanese shores. The hype for the game has died down. FFIV didn't boost PSP sales much at all, the problem was PSP has been supply constrained for a while now. As for 3DS, it could've sold more if it didn't have such a crappy launch line-up and a price tag of $250. Zelda won't help 3DS in Japan and neither will Kid Icarus. Now stop calling everyone a fanboy when YOU clearly are one.

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

i agree with Basil, we need some more RPGs over here in the west.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

well gas prices will dearly affect gaming industry , depending where you live that is, and --- ya bad choice of words as sony isnt really on top nintendo is , sony just sold more in last yr by a little, but japan does not =the world so again wrong choice of words

jcbullen
jcbullen

It's pretty cool when someone says something completely non-fanboyish like "I enjoy my Xbox 360" and gets thumbed down like crazy. Stay classy Gamespot posters.... stay classy.

psx_warrior
psx_warrior

@BasilVZero Yeah, and not only that, but oil is found in just about everything we own. I've got loads and loads more I could say about it, but I won't here.

BasilVZero
BasilVZero

@psx_warrior I gotta agree with you, its gonna affect everyone, especially those who are still in school/college/got their own apartment/etc. I wouldnt be surprised if tax goes up or some other additional cost due to the oil prices going up, it takes fuel to ship those games you know (amongst other things).

psx_warrior
psx_warrior

@CivicGSR I don't know. You may or may not be right. Gas prices are going up because a barrel of oil is going up in price, which is a result of the value of the dollar going down, and that could be a major problem for everybody in the long run.

BasilVZero
BasilVZero

Nice to know that sony's getting some sales off in the East~. They just need to release some of those exclusive RPGs here in the west ~_~.

CivicGSR
CivicGSR

@psx_warrior If gas prices continue to go up, I imagine that would only mean good prospects for the game industry. If people can't afford to go out as much, they will have to find ways to entertain themselves more at home, ie more video games.

psx_warrior
psx_warrior

I'm starting to get worried that the gaming industry here in the US is gonna start sinking as gas prices go all the way to the moon. Where I live, they went up 5 cents to 3.49 a gallon yesterday, and then today went up to 3.54 a gallon. The world seems to be going to Hell in a handbasket these days.