PS3 Outsells All Home Consoles in Japan

Rob Crossley's picture

By Rob Crossley

November 7, 2008

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The PS3 has sold more units than all other home consoles in Japan for the week ending Nov 2. The system’s huge turnaround in the hardware sales follows earlier news that the PS3 version of Grand Theft Auto 4 has risen to the top of the software charts.  

The PS3 was the third best selling console altogether, with both the DSi and PSP systems selling around 171,000 and 50,000 units respectively. The figures plainly show that the DSi has enjoyed an immensely popular launch in Japan, and has sunk DS Lite sales down to 16,369. This goes some way in suggesting that the Japanese market are happy to upgrade their DS. 

The PSP still yielded positive sales in the face of the DSi launch, yet the PS3 wasn’t too far off from Sony’s popular handheld either. This week the console moved 39,587 units; a striking sales increase of over 900% from last week. In fact, the figures show that the PS3 has outsold all three other TV consoles combined. The Wii (23,123), Xbox 360 (6,119) and PS2 (6,714) all took a slight drop in sales. 

The contemporaneous release of LittleBigPlanet and GTAIV explains the two biggest reasons for the PS3’s renewed success, and it suggests Japan is happy to spend high if the product is persuasive enough. Above all else, however, it reaffirms the importance of acclaimed software; something the PS3 has been criticised of not hosting enough of. Famitsu had scored GTA IV a near-perfect 39/40 and gave LittleBigPlanet 38. 

Detailed numbers from Media Create:
DSi: 171,925
PSP: 50,358
PS3: 39,587
Wii: 23,123
DS Lite: 16,369
PS2: 6,714
360: 6,119

Kenology's picture

Nice charts. Thanks for the links.

Kim_Naroz's picture

Grand Theft Auto 4 probably isn't the reason why, since the Xbox 360 version of Grand Theft Auto 4 is superior to the Playstation 3 version.

After all, the Xbox 360 version of Grand Theft Auto 4 has exclusive downloadable content, and has better graphics.

...I think the main reason for this announcement is because of the special PS3 packages sold to retailers that contain the game called Little Big Planet as a pack-in with the Playstation 3.

I agree with the people who point out that this sort of situation isn't a surprise and it isn't a big deal. In all likelihood, the Playstation 3 sales will go back to normal after one month. This is the exact same thing that happened when MGS4 was released.

I think it will be interesting to see what happens when the upcoming games for Xbox 360 such as Star Ocean 4, The Last Remnant, and Gears of War 2 are released.

gyak's picture

"the Xbox 360 version of Grand Theft Auto 4 is superior to the Playstation 3 version"
Lies. Better graphics? Couldn't help but LOLed.

Don't want to ruin your euphoria but except the DLC (which no one will bother to play) the xbox version is inferior to the ps3 version. It's a FACT Kim, from the same vein where your facts came ;)

"this sort of situation isn't a surprise and it isn't a big deal" -- exactly, back into normal in Japan.

NickgamertagO1's picture

I do have to agree with Gyak for the most part on this one. I don't know if I'd call either version "inferior", but the review comparisons I've read on GTAIV state that the PS3 version has the graphical edge. Although they didn't state it was a huge difference and it didn't change the scores, it was somewhat noteceable. I think they also noted some better load times in the PS3 version but I could be wrong there. I also got tired of waiting for the DLC so I already traded in my copy of GTAIV.

As far as PS3 sales, I do see them dropping after this spike, that's just normal. What I don't know is, will the trend of the 360 outselling the PS3 in Japan pick back up after PS3's sales spike drops? I do feel the PS3 will outsell the 360 over there during the holidays though. So it may be a while before we see the 360 on top of the PS3 in Japan (it may really have been a perfect storm of good JRPGs for the 360 and great price coupled with the lack of compelling software for the PS3 and high price that led to the 360 outselling the PS3 for those two months).

Kenology's picture

You have a point Kim, this won't be any different from previous PS3 spikes. But with White Knight Chronicles is coming out there soon, we might see sales settle higher than usual before that spike comes.

Also, Gears of War 2 isn't being released in Japan, IIRC.

rydamgw's picture

Oh by the way wheres kim today lol

rydamgw's picture

wut i tell ya if you read all my previous comments ive been right all along excellent to see the ps3 back on top in japan soon to be the world it will overcome the xbox in the next year.

Brendon's picture

I thought ToV was the turning point for the 360. What happened? Why is it doing worse than the PS2 again?

Kenology's picture

It's not so much the 360 is doing worst than the PS2, but rather the PS2 is doing better than the 360 this week.

Dan_Chippendale's picture

Go PS3! Pleased to see that with the right software people are splashing the cash. Can't blame Japan for wanting to buy PS3s to play LBP. It's absolutely stunning!

Ozzman_79's picture

Handhelds rule the roost in Japan. This further we needed any more.

Kenology's picture

PS3 sales went up not only due to GTAIV and LBP, but also the 80gig launch which comes with a free copy GT5:P I believe. 2 new releases and a new sku see PS3 sales take off. But 40k is only impressive when you've been selling less than 5k for many weeks prior.

Wii sales are steady, staying above 20k, even without any new noteworthy releases.

360 settles at a very impressive 6-7k each week.

NickgamertagO1's picture


It looks like the PS3 wasn't #1 afterall. I figured it'd be ahead of the Wii and 360, but to outpace the handhelds would have been a huge surprise. Lets see if these increases hold up. We all remember after just one month of increased PS3 sales MGS4 caused the PS3 monthly sales dropped right back to where they were before. I wouldn't get too excited about this news. If it sustains that would be news to be excited about though.

Kenology's picture

Nick... what in the world are you talkin' about? You really thought I meant that the PS3 would be #1 *OVERALL* in the same week the DSi launched!? You can't be serious!

I was only speaking of consoles.

NickgamertagO1's picture

My comment, "I don't know about the top, but I'm sure higher than worst. Also though, GTAIV didn't make much if any difference to hardware sales in the US and it'll be interesting to see if the same occurs in Japan."

Your comment, "Not only did GTAIV launch, but LBP, and 80gig PS3. LBP is sold in a hardware bundle and I hear GT5:P is being bundled as well. With all that, no way the PS3 won't be #1 this week."

Simple misunderstanding. When I said, "I don't know about the top", I literally meant the top, ahead of everything. I figured it'd be higher than the Wii and 360, just not the handhelds. So when you said "no way the PS3 won't be #1 this week", I thought you meant literally number 1. Neither of us were very specific. I did think you meant handhelds so I was a little surprised you'd think that.

Kenology's picture

No biggie. I should've been more specific the first time.

NickgamertagO1's picture

My bad, too.

Limanima's picture

Software drives the hardware. No doubt in that.

Bleak Corner's picture

It goes to show how important software is to a console as the Wii sales seem to have gone down... because there's not that much new and interesting stuff to play on the console. In Europe, they are airing the Super Mario Galaxy adverts again for the machine... which, yes, is a good game - but not exactly new.

Ozzman_79's picture

At first I didn't think Wii sales seemed to "have gone down," as you suggested. I thought they had stayed pretty much level. But looking back at a few dozens articles and you're right, it has made a noticeable drop in average sales. Good eye:

Week ending:
Aug 24 35 000
Sept 5 35 000
Sept 14 27 000
Oct 2 22 000
Oct 10 25 000
Oct 31 23 000