Japan's gaming market sinks 16 per cent in first half

New software didn't make a splash and hardware sales fell

Japan's console and portable gaming market sank 16 per cent in the first six months of the year as new software failed to make a splash and sales of hardware fell, according to data released on Thursday.

The entire market was worth ¥192 billion (US$2.4 billion), down from ¥228 billion in the equivalent period of 2010, said Japanese publisher Enterbrain, which tracks the gaming market.

During the six-month period, sales of software dropped just over 20 percent and the industry failed to release a single game that sold more than a million units, which is typically the sign of a hit game in Japan. Last year, four games sold more than a million copies each during the first half.

The best-selling game of the half this year was Capcom's Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, which sold 968,269 copies. The software launched on December 1 last year and racked up sales of more than 3 million copies in the few weeks before 2011 began.

The number two game of the first half and the best-selling new game of the period was Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional from Square Enix, which launched on March 31 and sold 469,469 copies, Enterbrain said.

On the hardware side the Nintendo 3DS, which launched on February 26 in Japan, was the best-selling device. Nintendo sold 1.15 million of the handheld gadgets during the first half.

It was closely followed by Sony's PlayStation Portable, which sold 1.08 million units. Sony launched the device in 2004, but managed to energize first half sales with a price cut that saw the PSP reduced to ¥16,800.

Overall hardware sales fell 9 per cent to ¥80 billion.

For the entire year, the game market should be buoyed by several major releases due before 2011 ends. Nintendo plans to release new versions of its Super Mario and Mario Cart games, and Sony is planning to launch the PlayStation Vita, its first new portable gaming device since the PSPgo was released in 2009.

Japan first half 2011 software sales ranking (Source: Enterbrain):

  1. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, Capcom, 968,269 copies sold

    Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional, Square Enix, 469,469 copies sold

    Dissidia Duo Decim Final Fantasy, Square Enix, 454,522 copies sold

    Shin Sangoku Musou 6, Koei Tecmo, 443,873 copies sold

    Ryu ga Gotoku Of The End, Sega, 376,193 copies sold

Japan first half 2011 hardware ranking (Source: Enterbrain):

  1. Nintendo 3DS, 1.15 million units sold

  2. PlayStation Portable, 1.08 million units sold

  3. PlayStation 3, 621,048 units sold

  4. Nintendo DS, 614,927 units sold

  5. Nintendo Wii, 413,091 units sold

  6. Xbox 360, 68,724 units sold

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Tags HandheldsEnterbraincapcomsquare enixwiiPS3nintendo dsgame softwareSony Computer EntertainmentNintendoGame platformspspMicrosoftXbox360games

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?