Japanese games and magazine publisher Enterbrain has released information stating that software sales across all formats in Japan have risen by 60 percent in the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2004, according to a report translated by game website Next Generation.
This percentage rise translates to 2.5 million units of game software, led by 1.27 million DS games, 820,000 PlayStation 2 titles and 720,000 PSP releases. Overall PlayStation 2 software sales were down by 12.8 percent, with no previous figures available for the two new portable formats.
Other recent Enterbrain figures
had seen the Japanese game industry, counting both hardware and software, at ¥436.1 billion ($3.90bn) in 2004, still significantly down from a ¥660.3 billion ($5.90bn) high back in 1997. This latest news indicates that the Japanese market may be rebounding further.
Enterbrain president Hirokazu Hamamura, a highly influential figure in the Japanese industry, has himself chosen to announce figures illustrating the Nintendo DS’s dominance of the Japanese market since the release of Nintendogs
in April. As a result of this and other prominent releases such as the two Brain Training
games, the Nintendo DS now enjoys a ratio of 2.62 games sold for each piece of hardware in any given month, compared to 1.91 games for the PSP – a marked contrast to the figures prior to Nintendogs
’ release, which stood at only 1.11 for the DS and 1.62 for the PSP.
Hamamura suggests a lack of “killer” PSP titles is the major factor for the PSP’s relative lack of success of Japan, where even high profile new releases regularly fail to chart within the top five weekly sales chart. To judge by hardware sales alone, though, both new portable consoles have been somewhat of a success in Japan, and the significant rise in overall software sales in the country will be welcomed in a market which had been considered to be in decline for several years.