PS3, Wii sales slow in Japan

Latest Media-Create figures show retail volume of new consoles is dwindling across the Pacific; Xbox 360 runs a distant third.

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This week began with Sony announcing it had met its 2006 target of shipping 2 million PlayStation 3s...just over two weeks after the year ended. The company also boasted that it had shipped 1 million units of the sleek new console in Japan.

Help us Obi-Wii Kenobi! You're our only hope!
Help us Obi-Wii Kenobi! You're our only hope!

Now, though, it appears sales of Sony's new console have slowed across the Pacific. According to the latest numbers from Media-Create, only 25,531 PS3s were sold during the week that ended on January 14. That's the lowest amount sold since the console went on the market in the country on November 11, 2006, when more than 372,000 Wiis were sold in just 2 days. PS3 software sales were also sluggish, with the most popular game for the platform, Resistance: Fall of Man, coming in at number 40 on the console chart.

During the same week, the Wii, which hasn't suffered the same manufacturing problems as the PS3, sold 93,708 units. Ironically, that was a bad week for Nintendo's upstart console--the second worst since it went on sale in Japan on December 2, 2006, according to Media-Create. It was unclear if the drops in Wii and PS3 sales were due to supply constraints or declining consumer demand.

Though slowing PS3 and Wii sales will trouble Sony and Nintendo executives, respectively, it could have been worse. Despite heavy promotion from Microsoft following its 2005 launch, just 9,035 Xbox 360s were sold in Japan during the week, placing it in a distant third place. The figure was also a decline for the console, which had received a slight sales bump following its bundling with Hironobu Sakaguchi's Final Fantasy-esque, 360-exclusive role-playing-game, Blue Dragon, last fall.

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