Big in Japan: Nintendo’s Game Consoles are Outselling Sony’s and Microsoft’s

Chart comparing Wii, PS3 and XBox 360 sales in Japan — Wii: 270,974 units; PlayStation 3: 41,628 units; XBox 360: 17,616 units.

The Japanese publishing company Enterbrain reports that the Nintendo Wii is outselling other consoles by a wide margin in Japan. Here are the June 2007 sales figures:

Console Units sold in Japan, June 2007
Nintendo Wii 270,974
Sony PlayStation 3 41,628
Microsoft XBox 360 17,616

And if you think the Wii is cleaning up, wait until you see the figures for the DS Lite, which in Japan outsold all the other game console systems combined in the last week of June:

Console Units sold in Japan, week ending June 24, 2007
Nintendo DS Lite 163,888
Nintendo Wii 65,582
Sony PSP 32,984
Sony PS2 11,962
Sony PS3 9,581
Microsoft XBox 360 3,369
Nintendo Game Boy Micro 284
Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP 130

That’s right, the PS2, which was first released in Japan on March 4, 2000, is outselling the PS3. This notable fact, in combination with the sales of the DS Lite and Wii lead me to these (admittedly obvious) conclusions:

  • Price matters.
  • Game selection matters (they’re still cranking out new games for the PS2).
  • User interface matters.
  • Microsoft doesn’t matter (not in the Japanese console market, anyway).

I expect that someone from Sony will release a statement that says something like “the Japanese market is quite unlike the American one” that points to things like the lower PC penetration in Japan, the fact that the XBox 360 is a non-entity there while it’s hot stuff over here, and that the Japanese idea of fun is different from ours, if their game shows are any indication.