PS3 outsells Wii in Japan in March

While this isn’t “PC” news, it is good to hear that Sony’s PS3 is mounting what seems to be a comeback.

The PlayStation 3 has outsold the Nintendo Wii in Japan for the first time in 16 months according to market research firm Enterbrain. In March, Sony sold 146,948 PlayStation 3s compared to 99,335 Nintendo Wiis and 43,172 Xbox 360s. The sales success is fueled by the release of solid software titles such as Resident Evil 5 and PlayStation 3 exclusive Yakuza 3 (Ryu Ga Gotoku 3).

March sales numbers show the impact a quality exclusive title can have on hardware console sales. Yakuza 3 is currently a Japan-only exclusive title that debuted in first place with 372,301 copies sold, second only to Metal Gear Solid 4 which sold 465,000 in its debut week. For the week Yakuza 3 was released, Sony sold 36,513 units of the PS3 topping even the Nintendo DSi which sold 35,827 units.

Resident Evil 5 also saw strong sales in Japan with the PlayStation 3 version outselling the Xbox 360 version considerably. There were 312,000 copies of the PlayStation 3 version sold compared 79,000 for the Xbox 360 version.

Globally, the PlayStation 3 has seen sales momentum thanks to the release of another exclusive Killzone 2. In an interview with MCVUK, Sony UK MD Ray Maguire discusses how Killzone 2 is a hardware system seller stating, “It certainly has helped drive hardware I think there were a lot of people out there who wanted something which really showed the power of PlayStation 3 – and now they can see it it’s a reason for them to get on board.”

Despite the recent hardware sales success, Mizuho Investors Securities’ Etsuko Tamura is quoted in a Reuters article stating the PS3 is still unlikely to threaten the Nintendo Wii’s global dominance. She stated software makers are focusing development resources on the Wii due to its large install base.

Game publishers have recently been pressuring Sony for a price cut or risk losing more development funds to Nintendo. With the PlayStation 3 finally showing signs of success against the Nintendo Wii, a price cut may be what is needed to maintain the momentum.


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