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2005 Japanese Sales Up, Hamamura Predicts Difficult Year Ahead

A report from major Japanese video game print magazine Famitsu, translated by consumer site GameSpot, has reported on a recent bi-annual seminar held by Enterbrain CEO Hi...
A report from major Japanese video game print magazine Famitsu, translated by consumer site GameSpot, has reported on a recent bi-annual seminar held by Enterbrain CEO Hirokazu Hamamura. According to the seminar, the financial outcome of the Japanese video game market in 2005 was positive, with ¥472 billion ($4 billion), or about 9 percent growth over the previous year. The Japanese financial year was helped by strong hardware and software sales during 2005. From April 2004 to March 2005, both the PSP and Nintendo DS resulted in unit sales of just over 100 million, a 23 percent increase over the previous year. Software sales were also positive, increasing 8 percent over the previous year with 660 million units. However, despite increased software sales, the total value of the software market remained much the same as previous year at ¥309 billion ($2.6 billion). Hamamura attributed this to the fact that portable software carries a lower price point than console software, and sales of portable software accounted for a larger portion of total software sales in 2005 over the previous year. This echoes the popularity of DS software, which accounted for seven of the top ten selling video games in 2005 in Japan. Despite this increase, Hamamura believes that 2006 will be a difficult year for publishers, due mainly to having previously rushed titles to market for current generation platforms in anticipation for a May launch for the PlayStation 3. Sony recently announced that the PlayStation 3 will in fact launch globally in early November. Rushed titles have created a surplus and lower sales that Hamamura does not believe the industry will recover from until the fall.

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