The Rise Of The PSP In Japan
You know, for a handheld that was once pronounced "dead" by a few jump-the-gun analysts and game journalists out there, the PSP is really doing quite well in 2008.
We always say that software will sell the hardware and not the other way 'round, which is exactly what happened with Sony's portable in Japan. According to the latest edition of Famitsu, the total sales numbers for the first half of 2008 are in (source- PSBeyond), and despite most expectations, the Wii and DS do not dominate all categories. While it's certainly true that most of the top 10 software titles are for Nintendo platforms, the #1 position is occupied by a PSP title: Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G, which has now old over 2 million copies in the region. Furthermore, the PS3's Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is also in the top 10 with about a half-million units sold...and it has only been out for a few weeks. But perhaps most impressive of all is the platform that was the best-selling piece of video game hardware in Japan for the first six months of 2008:
It's the PSP. By selling around 1.9 million units, it just topped the Wii (1.7 million), and we're talking about the same Sony handheld that was being outsold by the DS by a 4:1 ratio in Japan not long ago. Things have certainly switched around, and while Nintendo remains popular, if they don't deliver the software, the Sony platforms will continue to close the gap. With MGS4's help, you'll likely see the PS3 rise up the charts before 2008 is out. But the first part of 2008 in Japan belongs to the PSP. Congrats!
7/12/2008 Ben Dutka