CESA releases 2004 sales stats in Japan

Report says PlayStation 2 is still the top-selling console, but shipments were halved overseas in 2004; Xbox tally is tiny.

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Sony's PlayStation 2 sold nearly 65 times more than Microsoft's Xbox console in Japan during the past year, according to the latest report by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA), an organization specializing in tracking the country's gaming industry. The latest issue of Famitsu reported 2004 sales statistics of the Japanese game industry disclosed by CESA, with numbers revealing mostly unsurprising figures and trends.

According to CESA, the PS2 sold 2.59 million units in Japan during 2004, whereas the Xbox sold only a fraction of that with 40,000 units. Nintendo's GameCube sold 420,000 units, more than 10 times the Xbox.

The PS2 still keeps its position as the best-selling home console worldwide, but shipments have been declining for the past two years. In the overseas market in particular, the number of PS2s shipped has dropped by almost 50 percent, from 17.4 million units in 2003 to 9.29 million units in 2004.

The GameCube has suffered a smaller percentage decline overseas, from 4.18 million units to 3.68 million units. On the other hand, the American-made Xbox console has been doing well overseas, as its shipment count rose from 5.62 million units in 2003 to 6.16 million units in 2004. But little of that increase is due to Japan gamers clamoring for Xbox units.

Software sales by Japanese publishers have been on the rise for both the domestic and overseas market. Total game sales for 2004 tallied 468 billion yen ($4.26 billion), up 9 percent from 2003. However, total sales in yen for the hardware sector fell by nearly 38 percent to 440.7 billion yen ($4 billion), mainly due to the influence of console price cuts and the decline of PS2 shipments.

Given that the PS2 has been around for five years already, slowdown in the console's sales is thought to be inevitable. CESA previously commented that it expects hardware sales to rise again--once the next-gen consoles hit the market.

Due to the downfall in the hardware sector, the overall sales of Japanese game makers in 2004 was 909.1 billion yen ($8.26 billion), down 25 percent from the previous year. The specific Japanese video game industry figures disclosed by CESA are below.

Hardware shipment by units

Console name
Year- Unit shipment in Japan / Unit shipment overseas

PlayStation 2
2004 - 2.59 million / 9.29 million
2003 - 2.93 million / 17.4 million
2002 - 3.34 million / 20.8 million

PlayStation
2004 - 5,000 / 2.54 million
2003 - 34,000 / 4,14 million
2002 - 233,000 / 5.7 million

GameCube
2004 - 420,000 / 3.68 million
2003 - 1.09 million / 4.18 million
2002 - 1.08 million / 4.83 million

Xbox
2004 - 40,000 / 6.16 million
2003 - 80,000 / 5.62 million
2002 - 400,000 / 6.1 million

Game Boy Advance SP
2004 - 2.8 million / 12.64 million
2003 - 3.11 million / 12.16 million

Game Boy Advance
2004 - 30,000 / 870,000
2003 - 936,000 / 3.81 million
2002 - 3.58 million / 10.54 million

Nintendo DS
2004 - 1.45 million / 1.39 million

PlayStation Portable
2004 - 496,000 / --

Software shipment by units

Platform
Year- Unit shipment in Japan / Unit shipment overseas

PlayStation 2
2004 - 35.94 million / 232.17 million
2003 - 33.56 million / 194.23 million
2002 - 30.98 million / 160.8 million

PlayStation
2004 - 580,000 / 12.84 million
2003 - 2.51 million / 37.83 million
2002 - 10.6 million / 61.17 million

GameCube
2004 - 5.25 million / 44.68 million
2003 - 8.46 million / 36.76 million
2002 - 5.84 million / 39.38 million

Xbox (Figures do not include overseas publisher's games that were sold in Japan)
2004 - 506,000 / 6.77 million
2003 - 584,000 / 3.38 million
2002 - 1.5 million / 3.26 million

Game Boy Advance
2004 - 20.1 million / 65.9 million
2003 - 16.46 million / 58.35 million
2002 - 13.99 million / 44.42 million

Nintendo DS
2004 - 2.1 million / 2.91 million

PlayStation Portable
2004 - 315,000 / --

Total market sales, in dollars, from software and hardware
(Figures do not include Xbox hardware and Xbox games from overseas publishers that were sold in Japan.)

Year - Software/Hardware : Total
2004 - $4.28 billion / $4.03 billion : $8.31 billion
2003 - $3.93 billion / $6.44 billion : $10.37 billion
2002 - $4.34 billion / $7.2 billion : $11.54 billion

Total market sales, in dollars, by region
(Figures do not include Xbox hardware and Xbox games from overseas publishers that were sold in Japan.)

Year - Japan/Overseas : Total
2004 - $3.06 billion / $5.16 billion : $8.22 billion
2003 - $3.19 billion / $7.18 billion : $10.37 billion
2002 - $3.56 billion /: $7.99 billion: $11.55 billion

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