Sony PS3 tops Nintendo Wii in Japan in March: survey

Apr 07, 2009
The first copies of the new Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) are packed and ready to go on sale after midnight in 2007 at the Sony Center in Berlin. Sony has been given a vital boost in the battle for the multibillion-dollar video game industry, with a survey showing its PlayStation 3 outsold Nintendo's Wii in Japan for the first time in 16 months.

Sony has been given a vital boost in the battle for the multibillion-dollar video game industry, with a survey showing its PlayStation 3 outsold Nintendo's Wii in Japan for the first time in 16 months.

Japanese sales of the PS3 surged 80 percent in the five weeks to March 29 from a year earlier to 146,948 consoles, while demand for the plunged almost 63 percent to 99,335, publishing firm Enterbrain Inc said.

The PS3 got a boost from the release of popular new games such as Resident Evil 5, putting the ahead of the Wii for the first time since November 2007, when Sony was lifted by the launch of a new slimmed down version.

Experts said Nintendo has already sold so many Wii consoles that it appears to be struggling to find new buyers, but it should continue to enjoy strong demand for games and accessories.

"PS3 hardware sales picked up due to brisk-selling software. But I don't see any drastic change in the industry landscape," Okasan Securities analyst Masashi Morita said.

The Wii, launched in 2006, is known for its innovative motion-sensitive controller which has appealed to people buying a machine for the first time.

While Sony put the emphasis on chip power and ultra-realistic graphics for the latest addition to the PlayStation series, Nintendo opted to develop a cheaper, easy-to-use console that would appeal to a wider audience.

The strategy has paid off handsomely, rewarding Nintendo with surging profits in recent years. More than 10 million Wii machines were sold in the United States alone in 2008, setting a new video game record.

"The market for the Wii is saturated. People who already have a Wii console may as well go for another game console, such as the PS3," said Osamu Hirose, an analyst at the Tokai Tokyo Research Center.

"But it also means Nintendo has more potential to grow because it can start selling software once people have its hardware consoles," he said.

Even so, the drop in hardware sales is the latest sign that the once-invincible video game titan is feeling the pinch.

Nintendo has forecast a 10.6 percent fall in net profit to 230 billion yen (2.3 billion dollars) in the year to March 2009, though that would be a much more respectable performance than Sony, which is bracing for a big loss.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Google challenges nonprofits on ideas to use Glass

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Global sales of Nintendo's Wii top 50 million

Mar 26, 2009

(AP) -- Japanese game maker Nintendo Co. said Thursday global sales of its popular Wii video game console have topped 50 million since it went on sale worldwide in late 2006.

Nintendo's 'Revolution' becomes 'Wii'

Apr 27, 2006

Japan's Nintendo announced that its new gaming console -- known during development as "Revolution" -- will be called "Wii" and will be unveiled next month. ...

Sony cuts PlayStation 2 price to $100

Mar 31, 2009

Sony is cutting the price of its older generation PlayStation 2 (PS2) videogame consoles to 100 dollars (US) in a move prompted by tough economic times and a desire to lure fans to the platform.

Nintendo sells 100 million DS consoles

Mar 12, 2009

Nintendo said sales of its handheld DS have topped 100 million machines less than five years since its launch, reaching the milestone faster than any other game console.

Video game industry faces tougher year

Feb 22, 2009

After enjoying a banner year in 2008 despite the slowing economy, the video game industry may find the coming year to be more of a challenge.

Recommended for you

Japan's digital eyes show your emotions for you

Apr 21, 2014

Can't be bothered to show anyone what you're thinking? Then a Japanese scientist has the answer—a pair of digital eyes that can express delight and anger, or even feign boredom.

Review: With Galaxy S5, Samsung proves less can be more

Apr 20, 2014

Samsung Electronics Co. has produced the most formidable rival yet to the iPhone 5S: the Galaxy S5. The device, released over the weekend, is the fifth edition of the company's successful line of Galaxy S ...

Five features an Amazon phone might offer (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.