Though the Nintendo DS was once again top of the Japanese console chart for the week of April 5-11 in an unchanged ranking, overall console sales were down by 20 percent in a period unsupported by any major new video game releases.
Only the Xbox 360 and Sony PSPgo managed to retain any sort of stability, and that comes by virtue of their relatively niche following.
Though the handheld PSP is doing fairly well for itself, the PSPgo has been somewhat of an elephant in the room, and not just in Japan. It was supposed to cut out software piracy while at the same time offering the convenience of digital downloads and doing away with the disc drive found on older models. Unfortunately, the design hasn't really taken off and PSP buyers are voting with their wallets as the earlier versions are still going strong.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 has historically had a rough time of it in Japanese territories, percieved as a foreign device with a software library that doesn't really fit in with the Japanese idea of a good video game.
However, even though this week's top 50 video game chart was totally bereft of Xbox 360 titles - there are usually at least one or two - the console remains unaffected by slackening demand for Sony and Nintendo demand, continuing to sell around 3,000 machines a week.
Despite the general downturn, lifetime sales of the Nintendo DS just touched the 30 million mark thanks to the 36,000 units making their way into consumers' hands, as the touch-sensitive portable was once again the best-selling console hardware of the week.
Nintendo DS: 36,459
Sony PSP: 31,592
PlayStation 3: 28,973
Nintendo Wii: 25,345
Xbox 360: 3,218
PlayStation 2: 1,425
Sony PSP sales breakdown
PSP go: 1,826
Nintendo DS sales breakdown
DS Lite: 4,110
DSi LL: 21,583
Source: Media Create