MGS4 helps PS3 catch up with Wii in Japan – Xbox 360 still dead

July 3, 2008

MGS4 helps PS3 catch up with Wii in Japan - Xbox 360 still deadJapan is a very important territory for the video games industry. Although it is smaller than either the USA or Europe, what happens in Asia can affect the rest of the world’s markets substantially. Which is why the fact that the Playstation 3 has caught up substantially with the Wii during June is big news. The Xbox 360 of course is still trailing far behind, and the life support machine should probably just be turned off now.

I’ve spoken before about what can influence gamers purchasing decisions about which console they are going to buy. And let’s not forget that most people haven’t yet bought a current-gen console, so the market is still to play for. Although price, advertising, peer pressure and graphics can all help a console to sell, the largest factor has to be the games.

And that was the case in Japan for June, with the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 reportedly helping the PS3 to close the gap with the Nintendo Wii in terms of monthly sales. The game sees the last outing for Solid Snake, and has been hailed as one of the best games ever released for any console.

According to Enterbrain, via a translation and article on PC World, the Wii sold 235,990 console during a five-week period ending June 29th. In the same time frame, Sony managed to shift 139,494 units of the Playstation 3. So the Wii sill won by a fair old margin, but when you consider that the sales ratio has dropped from six-to-one in the Wii’s favour during May, to just one-point-seven-to-one for June, it’s not a bad result.

Enterbrain has claimed that this data shows the Wii’s lead failing, but the result has clearly been influenced by the release of Hideo Kojima’s masterpiece, and there’s no reason to assume the trend will continue in future months. On a month by month basis however, it is a good result for Sony.

The Xbox 360 continues to sell terribly over in the land of the rising sun, but then we all expected that before it was even released. Whether it’s to do with the anti-foreign product bias over in Japan, or more about the games not being veered towards the Japanese market is up for debate. If it’s the latter though, then the Japanese are losing out badly. While western gamers are enjoying gems such as Gears Of War and Halo 3, the otaku can keep on playing their horse racing and life simulation games.

20 Responses to “MGS4 helps PS3 catch up with Wii in Japan – Xbox 360 still dead”

  1. idiot:

    the wii will slow down. when u think about it, the wii has released all their heavy hitters: smash bros, wii fit, mario cart.. etc. As far as we know, their isnt anything big coming out for the wii anytime soon (that might change at E3).

  2. Maylon:

    Regardless of numbers, this will continue to be a solid 3 horse race world wide.

  3. The Future of Sega:

    What a FUCK!!!! I wish I lived in Japan right now! I’m tired of hearing these idiot morons over here screaming “Gears of Whore” and “Bioshit”. It’s so annoying!!!!

    I bought Bioshock back in early Novemeber and I STILL haven’t beat the first level on it! I want to beat it before Bioshock 2 comes out :)


    59,994 = wii sales in japan
    18,483 = Ps3 sales in japan
    502,764 = wii sales world wide
    158,971 = PS3 sales world wide
    28.46M = wii life time
    13.84M = PS3 life time

    MAKE SOME SENSE PLX ! one week doesnt mean “OOH CATCHING UP” -.-”

  5. Bourne:

    hahaha i believe the 360 sold around 10,000 consoles? which is quite frankly laughable. I agree with dave that if they’re selling that low, not to bother at all. I wonder what the Japanese are using it as? perhaps a nice door stop, frying pan or paperweight.

  6. CAD:

    Well Dave it has everything to do with anti-foreign product bias. As I have memtioned before I live in Toronto, Canada. In Canada Asians are the 2nd biggest demographic behind whites. In Toronto we just don’t have 1 China Town we have many China Towns of the top of my head I can thing of 4 China towns and that is not including the Japanese areas or the Korean Areas and others. The point I making is that Asians stick with Asians. These bubble tea sipping bastards (which is pretty good) won’t support anything that is not a Asian. They mostly only buy there Honda’s, Toyota’s, Kia, Nissan, Hyundia and Mitsubishi cars. They shop in their own neighbourhoods and keep the money wihtin their own community. In a way others races could learn from this as their are some good qualities to their ways as a people united. They have their racial issues between each other but it does not hamper with business. Mean while over here in North America they sell their products here and we buy them up and at the same time we send jobs over to these countries while America goes through a recession and our auto makers are closing plants. That is the reason why 360 and anything that is not asian will not do well in those regions. That why their cars are all over North America and North American cars are not a big factor in Asian parts of the world. That why I don’t even care about the whole Japan thing in the first place because the whole thing is a joke even though the 360 is the better product Asian people will never acknowledge that.

  7. Matt:

    CAD…you are ridiculous….you always have to give “reasons” to why things are happening….just stop…the 360 was a failure from the start…i cant imagine japan technology losing in dead last place forever….the ps3 is the best game console..and dont even start with me..if you do , i will “dis” you badly…and how the hell is 360 a better “product” (so called), when it is pretty much the worlds most unreliable game console ever? are bullshit CAD

  8. The Future of Sega:

    It’s been too long since I’ve seen a good brawl!!!! :)

    Fight fight fight!!! :)

  9. Matt:

    @ Future of Sega, lol….i have owned Cad once, and i can do it again.

  10. pfreak:

    CAD, the reason they buy Japanese products are the same reasons we Americcans buy them. They are simply better made. X360 is a great example of it. Both Sony & Nintentdo have a remarkable history of manufacturing superior pruducts, as do the car makers you mention.

  11. mike:

    if i was asian i wourd buy a praystation and pray rots of games.

  12. Bourne:

    erm CAD i hate to break it to you, but North Americans (USA, Canada etc) always buy their own products as well, why are the Asians so special? They buy their own products (Asians) because theyre so reliable. Their cars are the most efficient, cheap and reliable, yet Americans and to some extent canadians buy their own products to boost their ego. I travelled to America and me and my family used an American made SUV which was brand new and within days it broke down. In the electronic department the Japanese are head and shoulders above the rest which no-one can deny. They’re so developed in their technology that if anyone tries to compete they make them look like complete amateurs. Im surrounded by Japanese technology and not one has broken since we bought it which includes my PS3.

  13. cirej2000:

    This is just like back in November when you had the headlines, “PS3 gaining on the Wii in Japan” or “Wii’s lead in Japan Shrinking” that was after October 07 when the PS3 went from being outsold in the previous months by as much as 6 to 1 and ended up only losing to the Wii by a tally of 2 to 1.

    Ahhhh, there is nothing new under the sun!

    Funny thing about the 360, Bourne…they might be a product from a US company. But they’re manufactured primarily in Asia. I think China (kings of quality control) is one of the countries.

    As for Asians buying American products, other countries protect their own businesses by putting tariffs on US products. We don’t do much of that here. That’s how a vehicle like the Accord was able to dominate for so long here. Also why folks here don’t even consider that Sony is a Japanese company often. Companies like Zenith, et al are reduced to third-rate manufacturers (and they probably outsource production facilities anyways) with crappy products. When US consumers buy an American product, it’s probably because the product is within their budget, is a better product or is the only product in its market space.

  14. Arvis:


    I primarily agree with you, but I know for a fact that many Americans consider the 360 “superior” because it is an American product. Or at least they see it as one. These people are silly and a minority, but they are out there.


  15. Bourne:

    I hope sony follows up with a game as good as MGS4 and i don’t mean anything average. I purchased COD4 today (Ok i’ve only played it for at most an hour) and let me say that it pales in comparison to MGS4 in every category. I can honestly say that MGS4 has changed my gaming world upside down and has now set the bar ridiculously high. Im playing through MGS4 for the second time to unlock new features (stealth, bandanna) yet you can re-play it over and over to unlock different badges, weapons masks etc. COD 4′s online was hyped to within an inch of its life, and as a cosequence i was expecting something phenomenal, what i got was something underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, its good… but for me doesn’t compare to MGS4 visuals and gameplay. I hope MGS4 hasn’t ruined my gaming experience, although thats probably the best complement i can give because i adore MGS4. (I realise i’ve put myself up for bashing from COD4 fanboys but tbh i don’t care, go play MGS4)

  16. CAD:


    You have never owned me and I can give you the smack down any day. JUST BRING IT!!!

  17. CAD:


    You have never owned me and I can give you the smack down any day. JUST BRING IT!!!

  18. kev:

    i’m stil trying to figure out why japan is being reported on. it isn’t the biggest market… not even the second… so why is this new? oh that’s right..becuase for 10 years JAPANESE executives have been telling us that JAPANESE gamers/developers are the backbone of gaming…. problem is; the math doesn’t support this claim.
    if they were that important the ps3 wouldn’t be getting killed in worldwide sales by the 360….

  19. kev:

    bourne – stop typing. where do you think the r&d for japan’s “tech” comes from? yep..the WEST, genius….

    japanese buy japanese products not because they’re better, only because they perceive them as better.

  20. Wylie:

    Kev – maybe Japan is being reported on because there is more to the world than just North America. Also two out of the three counsoles companies are from there. Plus the article already said it wasn’t the largest or second largest market, so what’s your point there?

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