PS3 Behind Xbox 360 In Japan
The weekend statistics for the PS3's Japanese launch are in, and thanks to the huge console shortage, they're not surprising at all.
Sony sold 88,400 PS3 hardware units, which is actually a bit higher than previous reports that stated Japan would get a maximum of 80,000 PS3s for the launch. Of the systems sold, 33,800 were the 20GB PS3s and the remaining 54,600 were the higher-end 60GB model.
But as far as software is concerned, the high price of the PS3 may have wrecked the tie-in ratio. The top selling game, as expected, was Ridge Racer 7, which sold 30,300 copies, and this was followed by Gundam Crossfire at about 30,000, and the somewhat surprising Resistance: Fall of Man (FPS is certainly not a Japanese favorite) at 15,700. Figures for other software have not yet been provided.
According to Enterbrain, these numbers create a tie ratio of about. 0.98, which means that, on average, about one game was sold with the purchase of every PS3. Now, all these numbers appear quite similar to last year's Xbox 360 Japanese launch, which sold 62,135 hardware units and a top-selling game (Ridge Racer 6) that sold 29,891 copies.
Obviously, the severe lack of PS3s contributed to the aforementioned stats, and Microsoft had loaded up Japanese retailers with 100,000 extra 360 units on launch day in 2005. Still, for the time being, we can say that the 360 is the #1 next-gen console in Japan...which is certainly a novelty for Microsoft. However, that novelty will most likely disappear when Sony makes its next PS3 shipment, and there's always the Wii to consider.
11/13/2006 Ben Dutka