The reasons for Sony’s public apology
for the lack of PSP consoles available in Japan are more than evident in this week’s sales data. On the hardware front, the Nintendo DS has dominated with 396,674 sales and a 41.67 percent market share, with the PlayStation 2 second with a 21.24 percent share and the PSP third at 15.99 percent. This was followed by the Game Boy Advance with a 15.33 percent share, the GameCube at 5.64 percent and the Xbox at 0.09 percent.
In terms of software Metal Gear Solid 3
, which is not historically as popular in Japan as in the West, has done unexpectedly well with 548,000 units sold – a first week record for the series. Namco's PlayStation 2 RPG Tales of Rebirth
did less business than was expected, but scored a still-promising 335,000 sales, compared to 446,000 in the first week for previous title Tales of Destiny II
. However, this may simply be because of particularly fierce competition from fellow role-playing game, Square Enix's Dragon Quest VIII
Sales overall in Japan are being described as “vigorous”, with a total of 2,373,475 software units being sold last week, up from 2,123,300 from the same time last year and 2,165,045 in 2002. With the main gift-giving period still to come in Japan, local retailers will be hoping for further good news in the future.