PS3 Sales Dropping in Japan

There is increasing evidence worldwide that sales of the PlayStation 3 are beginning to slow significantly. A firm says sales of the console in Japan this past week were the worst since launch.

Japanese research firm Media Create said the console sold 25,531 units overall for the week ending January 14. This was far behind the Wii, which sold about 93,708 consoles for the week. Still, that number was low too, and the second worst week since launch.

Media Create's figures are created by extrapolating national sales from surveying 3,000 retail stores across the country.

The Xbox 360, a perennial underperformer in Southeast Asia, brought up the rear with only 9,035 units. Overall, some 128,274 units were sold, the company said in data released Friday.

Sony's insistence that it has shipped one million consoles has caused analysts to wonder why there is such a large gap between the shipped number and sold console estimates from several analyst firms. Several have noted that PS3s are in ample supply in some stores in Japan.

PlayStation 3 sales could also be hurt by the surprising success of the Nintendo Wii. Research firm Enterbrain estimated that the console sold 1.14 million consoles through the first week of January, compared with just over 534,000 for the PS3.

Another sign of the consoles weakness: In Media Create's list of top-selling games, the first PS3 title, Resistance: Fall of Man, does not appear until number 40. "Wii Sports" took the #1 spot (it is not bundled in the country, unlike in the U.S.).

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