Hirokazu Hamamura, president of Famitsu publisher Enterbrain, has given a seminar in Tokyo regarding the likely prospects for the three next generation home consoles in Japan, with sales forecasts substantially different to those made by the hardware manufacturers themselves.
As reported by the IANS news agency, Hamamura predicted that Sony would likely not be able to ship its target of 6 million units of the PlayStation 3 by March 31st, but instead suggested a figure of 4.13 million units by the same time. He predicted that Sony would be able to sell 750,000 units in Japan by the end of 2006 and 2.5 million by the end of 2007, with a total of 11.97 million units worldwide by the end of 2007.
"The PS3 will have a tough time globally at the initial stage. Its launch titles in Japan and exclusive software titles overseas are quite limited," said Hamamura, in remarks reported by IANS. "But its overwhelmingly realistic graphics will give it a long life span. It will stay competitive even when a game console battle breaks out among a newer generation of machines in 2010. Sales should grow every time Sony cuts prices," he added.
Hamamura predicted that Nintendo would sell 1 million units of the Wii in Japan by the end of 2006 and 3.4 million by the end of 2007. A worldwide figure of 10.48 million units by the end of 2007 suggests that Hamamura expects the Wii to be proportionally more popular in Japan than in the West.
Hamamura also discussed the Xbox 360, indicating that the console had sold around 150,000 units so far in Japan – still tracking below that of the original Xbox. He predicted sales would rise to 250,000 by the end of the year, helped by sales of Mistwalker’s Blue Dragon
and new hardware bundles. Despite this he predicted only a total of 560,000 units for the Xbox 360 in Japan by the end of 2007.