Consoles Sales Dip In Japan, But Game Sales Up

Japanese game magazine publisher Mediaworks said yesterday that sales of consoles in Japan dropped 14.2% over the holidays as compared to last year, but also said that this result was offset by a 23% growth in software sales.
Mediaworks measured the ten-week period from October 28 to January 5, and estimated that only the Nintendo GBA increased its sales over last year. Mediaworks said that PS2 sales fell 28% to 966,089 units, GameCube sales fell 55% percent to 409,747 units, and the Xbox sold 62,718 units (the Xbox was not available last year in Japan, so no comparison was possible). The star of the season was the Game Boy Advance, which increased its sales by 39%, to 1.81 million units. The release of the new "Pokemon" series of GBA games -- Pokemon Sapphire and Pokemon Ruby -- was cited as the reason for the uptick in GBA sales. Each game sold 1.7 million units in Japan, which helped account for a 163% spike GBA game sales over last year. Unfortunately for Nintendo, the release of the latest Zelda game -- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for the Gamecube -- was off to a relatively slow start. The game, which was released in Japan on December 13, sold 542,608 units during the period, disappointing most analysts.

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