Japanese Next-Gen Sales Numbers
It seems Sony and Nintendo are taking very different approaches to their product distribution. We reported earlier that Sony had hit their North American shipment goal of 1 million-plus units in 2006. However, they still struggled to deliver enough PS3s to Japan.
Today, Japanese publisher Enterbrain reports that Sony has sold a mere 466,716 PS3s in Japan, and that number covers from the November 11 launch through the end of the year. On the other hand, Nintendo sold nearly a million (989,118) Wiis in an even shorter span of time; December 2 through December 31. That number has since surpassed a million (1,135,671) in January.
Enterbrain didn't offer any statistics for the Xbox 360, but they did say the system sold 290,467 units in the span of time between December 10, 2005 (launch) and the end of 2006. The release of Blue Dragon caused a spike in 360 sales in the country, as nearly 100,000 (99,798) machines were sold in December alone, easily the biggest month for Microsoft's next-gen machine in Japan.
Portable gaming has been huge in Japan, but we coulda figured that out on our own. Enterbrain says the DS and DS Lite, from 2004 through 2006, sold a whopping 13,950,000 units, while the PSP isn't even close: 4,510,000 since its launch. Still, 2006 was a much bigger year for the PSP, especially in the U.S., but we don't yet have the official North American sales numbers.
So it seems Nintendo is staying native by providing the majority of their Wii supply to Japan; the console is still difficult to come by here in the U.S. On the other hand, Sony has shipped far more PS3s to this country, and in fact, their sales have already topped a million. Different approaches, indeed.
1/9/2007 Ben Dutka