JAPANESE 2008 MARKET REPORT

Ben Parfitt
JAPANESE 2008 MARKET REPORT

In 2007, the late 2006 launched Wii and PS3 continuously helped invigorate the market and it is considered that this brought about a tougher comparison for 2008.

2008 Market Value – in YEN 100m
(2007 numbers in brackets)


JANUARY
Hardware – 357.4  (360.7)
Software – 290.3  (367.8)
Total – 647.7  (728.5)

FEBRUARY
Hardware – 197.2  (261.6)
Software – 304.7  (282.0)
Total – 502.0  (543.6)

MARCH
Hardware – 216.1  (290.2)
Software – 312.1  (346.5)
Total – 528.1  (636.7)

APRIL
Hardware – 158.8  (214.6)
Software – 258.3  (262.3)
Total – 417.1  (476.9)

MAY
Hardware – 143.2  (210.8)
Software – 172.8  (206.2)
Total – 316.0  (417.0)

JUNE
Hardware – 199.8  (258.0)
Software – 283.2  (266.1)
Total – 483.0  (524.1)

JULY
Hardware – 152.0  (239.0)
Software – 215.8  (259.5)
Total – 367.8  (498.4)

AUGUST
Hardware – 187.0  (263.2)
Software – 276.5  (295.2)
Total – 463.4  (558.3)

SEPTEMBER
Hardware – 111.5  (204.4)
Software – 229.7  (233.7)
Total – 341.2  (438.1)

OCTOBER
Hardware – 113.7  (160.3)
Software – 154.3  (181.4)
Total – 268.0  (341.7)

NOVEMBER
Hardware – 264.1  (301.9)
Software – 328.8  (387.5)
Total – 592.9  (689.5)

DECEMBER
Hardware – 404.1  (509.5)
Software – 494.7  (517.1)
Total – 898.8  (1,026.6)

TOTALS
Hardware – 2,505.0  (3,274.1)
Software – 3,321.2  (3,605.4)
Total – 5,826.1  (6,879.5)


HARDWARE

Despite 2008's difficult market environment, the PSP managed to display a positive year-over-year growth of 17.2 percent (to 3.543m units) and pushed its cumulative sales in Japan to over 10 million units (11.078m as of December 28, 2008).

The Nintendo DS hardware, which has been acting as the main powerhouse behind Japan's gaming market over recent years, moved 4,030,000 units during 2008 (DS + DS Lite + DSi), lifting its domestic installed base to over 25 million units. Although both DS hardware and software markets fell short of the previous year's figures, the Nintendo DSi showed some strong sales performance in late 2008. Launched in November, the latest DS iteration sold 1,280,000 units within only two month of availability.

Console Unit Sales
(2007 numbers in brackets)


Nintendo DS – 4,029,804  (7,130,228)
PSP – 3,543,171  (3,022,659)
Wii – 2,908,342  (3,629,361)
PS3 – 991,303  (1,206,347)
PS2 – 480,664  (816,419)
360 – 317,859  (257,841)
Other – 9,575  (93,273)

Total hardware sales – 12,280,718  (16,156,128)


SOFTWARE

In software news, all of the three major systems (Wii, PS3, Xbox 360) significantly grew in software sales. The Wii platform had two titles whose yearly sales for calendar 2008 crossed the two million-copy milestone – Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii. Of these two, Wii Fit has been playing a key role in attracting people who had had little or no previous contact with gaming machines, by embodying the concept of health and fitness. As for PS3 software, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots shifted 686,000 copies, a sales number that stands as the highest in the platform's history.

The PSP software market also fared well throughout the year, with the most remarkable example being Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G. Selling 2,452,000 copies, the platform's first double-million seller became the headliner of 2008's yearly software sales chart.

The DS platform retained its leading position during 2008, with arrays of hit titles occupying higher positions, including the over two million selling Pokemon Platinum.

Software unit sales by platform
(2007 numbers in brackets)


Nintendo DS – 28,260,498  (39,130,595)
PSP – 9,745,758  (6,750,169)
Wii – 13,802,220  (11,665,679)
PS3 – 5,155,082  (2,951,390)
PS2 – 7,111,971  (13,262,872)
360 – 1,770,034  (1,480,551)
Other – 210,100  (612,905)

Total software unit sales – 66,055,663  (75,854,161)

2008 Software Top 30
(copies sold in brackets)


1. Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (Capcom) – PSP  (2,452,111)
2. Pokemon Platinum (Pokemon Company) – DS  (2,187,337)
3. Wii Fit (Nintendo) – Wii  (2,149,131)
4. Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) – Wii  (2,003,315)
5. Super Smash Bros Brawl (Nintendo) – Wii  (1,747,113)
6. Rhythm Heaven (Nintendo) – DS  (1,350,671)
7. Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (Square Enix) – DS  (1,176,082)
8. Animal Crossing: City Folk (Nintendo) – Wii  (895,302)
9. Kirby Super Star Ultra (Nintendo) – DS  (855,427
10. Wii Sports (Nintendo) – Wii  (841,736)
11. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (Konami) – PS3
12. Dissidia: Final Fantasy (Square Enix) – PSP
13. Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (Nintendo) – DS
14. Phantasy Star Portable (Sega) – PSP
15. Professor Layton and the Last Time Traveller (Level 5) – DS
16. Mario Kart DS (Nintendo) – DS
17. Wii Play (Nintendo) – Wii
18. Mario Party DS (Nintendo) – DS
19. Wagamama Fashion Girls’s Mode (Nintendo) – DS
20. Super Robot Taisen Z (Namco Bandai) – PS2
21. Meccha! Taiko no Tatsujin DS (Namco Bandai) – DS
22. Chrono Trigger (Square Enix) – DS
23. Calligraphy Training (Nintendo) – DS
24. Daigasso! Band Brothers DS (Nintendo) – DS
25. Warriors Orochi 2 (Koei) – PS2
26. New Super Mario Bros (Nintendo) – DS
27. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Sega) – DS
28. Kido Senshi Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam (Namco Bandai) – PSP
29. Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo) – DS
30. Wii Music (Nintendo) – Wii


THE YEAR AHEAD

Looking ahead to 2009, a string of star titles are lined up to hit the market, including DS's Dragon Quest IX: Hoshizora no Mamoribito. With the factors in mind that the DSi has been holding its strong pace and that the PSP recorded its best-ever results in 2008, Japan's handheld market should have a good chance of maintaining stable growth in 2009. There are also big console titles scheduled for release in 2009, such as Monster Hunter 3 and Final Fantasy XIII – leading us to expect the console software market to fuel the entire gaming market.

MCV has an exclusive media partnership with Famitsu – Japan's leading video game analyst and news source

Advertisement

Tags: This article has no tags

Follow us on

  • RSS