PS3 Outsells Wii As Japanese FY10 Sales Roll In

For many companies, including Sony and Nintendo, the end of March brings with it the end of the financial year. So while it is the calendar year that means the most to us mere mortals, corporate entities like to think in terms of their financial years and prefer their data sets aligned appropriately.

While we regularly report on the Media Create sales figures from Japan there is another group that also estimates sales data for the Japanese video games market.  Enterbrain, the publisher behind the well-known Famitsu magazine, regularly produce a variety of reports on their sales estimates, including on that collects sales across the financial year.


This year’s report, covering the period from March 29, 2010 to March 27, 2011, appeared on the 1st April though its no joke and contains very little in the way of good news for the Japanese video games industry.

Overall the value of the market fell to ¥472.6 billion, down almost 14% on FY09’s ¥549.07bn total.  Splitting that into hardware and software they reveal that hardware dropped 21% to ¥170.68bn while software sales were down a little over 9% to ¥301.92bn.

While the value of the market is data crucial to the industry we as gamers are more interested in how the consoles are performing on a unit sales basis.  So let us take a look at that.  To put the FY10 sales in context we have gone back through the data to gather figures from the previous three years.  This covers the financial years when all three home consoles have been on sale for the full twelve months.

In this first graph you can see how the sales of the individual consoles have contributed to the overall total and how that total has fallen from 14.94 million in FY07 to just 8.96 million in the most recent figures.  That is a fall in unit sales of almost exactly 40% over the four years in question.

Now let us take a look at how the unit sales of the individual consoles themselves are trending.  Only the PS3 had unit sales in FY10 that were higher than in FY07 and there is not that much to cheer as FY10 sales of 1.4m were almost 27% lower than the 1.9m it recorded in FY09.

Of all the consoles, excluding the 3DS for obvious reasons, only the PSP has managed to improve its unit sales in the past year.  That it shows an improvement is likely solely due to the monstrous success of a certain Capcom title the released in December and drove record PSP sales.  Sales which led to the PSP outselling the DS’ over the full twelve months.

What is not clear because of the scale of the graph is that FY10 was a doubly successful year for Sony as the PS3 also outsold the Wii during the period.  Albeit by only about 9,500 consoles according to Enterbrain’s estimates, but a win nonetheless.

Along with the fiscal year sales Enterbrain also presented their latest life-to-date sales for the consoles.  Remember these are estimated Japanese sales only and corresponding graphs from elsewhere in the world would look very different.

Though Sony have have won the FY10 units sales battle this clearly shows that Nintendo is winning the war by some margin.  The PS3 has only achieved 55% of the Wii’s unit sales and the PSP is fairing even worse as its sales are only 51.7% of those the DS’ racked up.

In case those graphs were too colourful for you, here are the raw numbers in black and white (and grey).

You could probably guess at what the top five games were in Japan during the last fiscal year, but Enterbrain covered that as well just in case you started struggling once you got to number four:

  1. Pokemon Black & White (Pokemon, DS, released 2010-09-18): 5,149,022
  2. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd (Capcom, PSP, 2010-12-01): 4,372,182
  3. Wii Party (Nintendo, Wii, 2010-07-08): 1,826,857
  4. Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 (Square Enix, DS, 2010-04-28): 1,283,423
  5. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo, Wii, 2010-05-27): 956,853

Hopefully that is enough numbers to give you something to think about while you wait until next Sunday when we will look back over the last month of Media Create sales data.

Via: andriasang



  1. “as the PS3 also outsold the Wii during the period”

    Whilst it’s not good reading, as a whole, you can’t help but think “really? Wow… that’s really quite something”.

  2. Not a good year for Japans game industry and now with the current crisis there i can’t imagine things will improve soon – i guess last months Media Create figures will show some effect on the market there.

  3. So the Japanese love their handhelds and hate the 360, no surprises there.
    I wonder if the PS3 will be the top selling home console for the coming years, until the next gen comes along.

  4. Come on PS3!

  5. I can’t help bu think that the cause of the reduction in the past few years is the lull in the purchase of formerly popular Nintendo merchandise. There is clearly a big drop in Wii and DS sales year on year while Sony products and MS seem to remain somewhat level.

    • I don’t think I’d agree. For example, the 360’s line in the graph looks fairly flat because of its proportionally lower sales. It’s actually down 51% in FY10 compared to FY08.

      Over the same period DS sales ‘only’ fell 37%. But because its sales are a higher proportion of the total they have a larger overall effect. (And much of the DS’ slide over the last 12 months, particularly the last 3, can be attributed to the arrival of the 3DS.)

      Similarly, as I noted in the article, PS3 sales are down 27% over the last year. Wii sales are down 36% over the same period, which as a percentage isn’t that much larger.

      Without the, frankly, unbelievable success of MH3 at selling PSP hardware would have seen declines across the board in FY10.

  6. Not good as a whole, but good for Sony, they seem to be pulling it back this year *better late then never*

    • “Pulling it back”? PS3 unit sales are down 27%.

  7. Do you not agree that at a certain point in each generation that sales will go down due to peoples minds… For example with the Wii, by now most people who want one, already have one or know they don’t want one.
    And then when new hardware itterations come, there are a few who then jump on and the rest upgrade.
    *Obviously I’m generalising, but it’s roughly the case.

    • I’m sure generation 8 will show this, I’m guessing (an announcemen) in 2012

    • Generally that may be true. I would imagine that if you looked at a point roughly two thirds of the way through a console’s lifetime you will probably only see sales declining from that point.

      Every so often though you will get an event like Monster Hunter 3 on the PSP which takes everyone by surprise. Even Sony weren’t expecting it to sell as many PSPs as it did, they literally could not make them fast enough to keep up with demand at the start of this (calendar) year.

  8. Looks like the handhelds rule in Japan! Pretty amazing how well the PSP continues to do in Japan.

  9. I honestly thought MH would be the biggest selling game in Japan.

    Watchful, would you happen to know where FFXIII landed in terms of position for sales?

    • You realise it was released in December ’09 so the bulk of its sales were in FY09, right?

      It came a very distant 5th with 1.8m sales. The game in fourth had almost 3.1m sales.

      • Yeah, I realised that just now. My bad. Still I enjoy reading your industry stories.

  10. Boom! PS3 is going to rule (not over the Wii tho)

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