news\ Jan 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Nintendo 3DS can't save gaming industry as revenue in Japan drops 8% in 2011


In Japan, the Nintendo 3DS has picked up steam in the recent weeks.  But despite selling over 450,000 3DS units in the Christmas weekend, the overall gaming industry in Japan saw revenue drop 8% in 2011.

According to Famitsu, it wasn't actually the hardware that failed to sell, but the software sales that led to a decrease in revenue.  In fact, if anything, the release of the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation  Vita should've only helped software sales, which saw a 14% drop.  Famitsu claims this was due to a lack of multi-million sellers like Pokemon Black & White and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd.

Enterbrain's 2011 sales reports span from December 27th, 2010 through December 25th, 2011.  That means the most recent sales report which saw 200,000 additional 3DS units sell weren't included.  Overall, domestic revenues reached 454,380 million yen, or a 8% drop from the previous year.  On the other hand, the hardware market was up 2.4% to 179,740 million yen.  The big drop-off came from software which fell 13.7% to 274,640 yen.

As expected, the 3DS was the top selling platform - selling over 4 million units in its first year.  The 3DS was followed by the PSP and PS3.  Below is the full hardware chart, with total life to date sales in parentheses.

  • Nintendo 3DS: 4,135,739
  • PSP: 1,960,177 (18,237,108)
  • PlayStation 3: 1,467,261 (7,417,148)
  • Wii: 937,451 (12,167,743)
  • Nintendo DS: 711,204 (32,835,502)
  • PlayStation Vita: 402,794
  • Xbox 360: 114,075 (1,520,738)

Moving forward, I'd expect hardware sales to increase in 2012 with the addition of the PS Vita which has gotten off to a slower-than-expected start.

Hopefully, software sales pick up as the Vita introduces newer game titles.  As for 2011, below is the software sales with the total lifetime sales in parentheses.

  • 01. [3DS] Mario Kart 7 (Nintendo, 12/1/2011): 1,082,391
  • 02. [3DS] Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo, 11/3/2011): 1,042,511
  • 03. [PSP] Monster Hunter Portable 3rd (Capcom, 12/1/2010): 1,021,457 (4,502,446)
  • 04. [3DS] Monster Hunter 3G (Capcom, 12/10/2011): 809,322
  • 05. [PS3] Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Square Enix, 12/15/2011): 697,146
  • 06. [PSP] Final Fantasy Type-0 (Square Enix, 10/27/2011): 696,428
  • 07. [WII] Minna no Rhythm Tengoku (Nintendo, 7/21/2011): 633,429
  • 08. [PS3] Tales of Xillia (Namco Bandai, 9/8/2011): 632,151
  • 09. [WII] Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo, 6/25/2009): 612,807 (2,732,655)
  • 10. [WII] Wii Party (Nintendo, 7/8/2010): 584,545 (2,123,773)


Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley, and his wife.
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