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Japan: DS Drives Game Market Up 10% in May; Over 17 Mil Sold
By James Brightman

Did you know that during May, the DS outsold the PS3 in Japan 13-to-1? Nintendo continues to dominate the gaming landscape, as DS and Wii hardware sales combined to drive up the Japanese market more than 10 percent for the month. More data and comments within...

GameDaily BIZ has received the latest Japanese video game sales data from the Famitsu Marketing Data Service. The report (covering data collected from April 30 to May 27) reveals an increase of 10.2 percent for the overall video game market in Japan. While software sales were down 0.3 percent, hardware sales jumped 22.8 percent, easily offsetting the slight decline in software.

Unsurprisingly, the Nintendo DS led the charge with 619,434 units of the DS Lite sold and an additional 1,236 units of the original DS. Nintendo's Wii came in a distant second with 251,794 units. Placing third was Sony's PSP with 123,673 units. The PS3 meanwhile sold just 45,321 and just like in North America was outsold by its predecessor, the PS2, which sold 53,049. Finally, Microsoft's Xbox 360 11,082 units.

Incredibly, when combined Nintendo platforms accounted for about 80 percent of the hardware market; that's true domination. The DS now has total sales in Japan of over 17 million units. One the software side, it was a similar story. The DS controlled 60.8 percent of the market and the Wii took 18.7 percent share. 8 of the top 10 titles were on Nintendo platforms.

That said, the top seller for the month was actually a PSP game, Square Enix's new Final Fantasy Tactics: Shishi Senso (Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions), which was followed by the April-released Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. "Already selling 470,000 units with the 500,000 mark just ahead, FF XII: RW has become another hit for the franchise, following in the footsteps of Final Fantasy III (released for DS by Square Enix on August 24, 2006)," noted Famitsu.

While 2006 set a new record for the Japanese video game industry, Famitsu believes 2007 could be even better. "Within the first five months of 2007, the total market size has already reached 280.27 billion yen, representing 114.0 percent of last year's level," the research firm said.
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