TGS '07: PSP tops Japan hardware charts

Sony's handheld surged ahead in the Japanese market last week, beating not only the Nintendo DS, but all the other consoles combined.

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TOKYO--The PlayStation Portable slim has landed in Japan, where it started going on sale on September 20. The new and improved PSP is now available here in a total of six different colours--piano black, ceramic white, ice silver, rose pink, lavender purple, and felicia blue.

But the Japanese evidently couldn't wait for that--this week sales of the PSP surged ahead to 95,487, making the handheld the top-selling hardware unit in Japan, according to figures from Media Create. In comparison, the DS Lite clocked in 79,974 units, the Wii was in third place with 26,181, followed by the PlayStation 2 with 13,128, the PlayStation 3 with 13,101, and the Xbox 360 with 1,243.

The upswing in sales has been attributed to the release of a new Square Enix Final Fantasy game on the portable--Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII--which debuted at number one in the Japanese games charts, and has already sold 486,659 units. A special bundle called the FF VII 10th Anniversary Limited was made to commemorate the occasion, with only 77,777 sets being available, and these have now almost completely sold out.

Originally announced in 2004, the game is set before the events of the PlayStation title Final Fantasy VII. Gamers play as Zack Fair, a trainee soldier working for the Shinra Corporation's private military. The events of the game fills in some of the backstory of the characters from Final Fantasy VII.

The PSP has now sold 6 million units, and with the release of the new and improved PSP, Media Create expects the portable to stay on top for a while to come.

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