Have The Japanese Stopped Playing video games?

Sales of video games consoles and software fell 15% in Japan over 2008, says Enterbrain.

A few other nuggets of note from the report:

  • Wii continues to dominate. 2.91 million Wiis sold in Japan last year, versus 991,000 PS3s and 318,000 Xbox 360s. Given the difficulty foreigners usually have penetrating the Japanese gaming market, that’s a great showing by Microsoft (MSFT).
  • The portable console race is tighter, but Nintendo (NTDOY) still wins: 4.03 million DS units sold in Japan versus 3.54 million for the PSP.
  • A “lack of new console launches” is blamed for the decline, not recession pressures.

Japan remains somewhat ahead of the curve in gaming vis-à-vis the West, so we’re hoping these numbers aren’t predictive of a 2009 gaming slowdown here. But so far, the West has seemed to enjoy a good 2008: final US numbers for 2008 won’t be out for another week, but the BBC reports the UK saw a 23% jump.

See Also:
Nintendo Kicking Sony’s Butt In Japan Too
Japan Getting Bored Of video games? Sales Down 21%

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