In July, the NPD Group reported that US game industry sales sank 14 percent during the first six months of 2009, with a January-June total of $8.16 billion. Today, Famitsu publisher Enterbrain released its game-industry sales figures for the first half of Japan's standard fiscal year, which runs from March to September.
The DS remains big in Japan.
Translated by GameSpot, the Enterbrain report showed that gamers were more thrifty across the Pacific as well, with six-month game industry revenue falling 10.5 percent from ¥238.9 billion ($2.66 billion) in 2008 to ¥213.7 billion ($2.37 billion) in 2009. Hardware sales fell 15.1 percent to ¥80.9 billion ($901 million), while software sales dipped 7.5 percent to ¥132.9 billion ($1.48 billion).
In the platform races, the Nintendo DS came out on top in the half-year marathon, selling just under 1.7 million units. That figure includes the DSi, introduced last November in Japan. Buoyed by the Monster Hunter Freedom Unite* craze, Sony's PSP sold more than 813,600 units. And thanks to the introduction of the PlayStation 3 Slim, the Wii and PS3 nearly tied, selling 594,398 units and 581,676 units, respectively. The Xbox 360, which has never really caught on in Japan--Star Ocean: The Last Hope excepted--sold barely over 137,000 units in six months.
Nearly 4 million Japanese went Dragon Questing on the DS.
Enterbrain also posted its top five software titles for the March-September period, which were all either for the Wii or for the DS. Square Enix's DS role-playing game Dragon Quest IX prevailed with more than 3.9 million units sold, and Pokemon-mania showed no signs of abating, with Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver selling more than 2 million copies on the DS. Wii Sports Resort brought the Wii MotionPlus to nearly 1.2 million consumers, with the Sims-like Tomodachi Collection bringing mini-Miis to 1.15 million Japanese. Last but not least, Capcom's Monster Hunter 3 Tri, the first third-party game to be bundled with Wii hardware, sold more than 908,000 units during the half year.
Japanese game sales, March-Sept. 2009: ¥213.7 billion ($2.38 billion)
Japanese game sales, March-Sept. 2008: ¥238.9 billion ($2.66 billion)
Japanese hardware sales, March-Sept. 2008:
Nintendo DS: 1,698,818 units (27,851,784 units life-to-date)
PSP: 813,604 (12,618,193 LTD)
Wii: 594,398 (8,547,552 LTD)
PlayStation 3: 581,676 (3,591,071 units LTD)
Xbox 360: 137,059 (1.13825 million units LTD)
Japanese software top 5, March-Sept. 2009:
1) Dragon Quest IX (DS, Square Enix): 3,925,285 units
2) Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver (DS, Nintendo): 2,067,609 units
3) Wii Sports Resort (Wii, Nintendo) 1,194,491 units
4) Tomodachi Collection (DS, Nintendo) 1,156,103 units
5) Monster Hunter 3 Tri (Wii, Capcom) 908,693 units
*=The game is called Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G in Japan.