Japanese consumers reversed a decline in console sales across all formats during the week of March 22-28: whereas the week before a hit game and a new digital TV accessory saw the Sony PlayStation 3 single-handedly arrest a slump in the hardware market, this week it was time for other entertainment devices to catch up.
The PlayStation 3 held steady at just over 50,000 consoles sold, and a new game called North Star Warriors can be thanked in part for that, based as it is on a fantastically popular media franchise that was established back in the 1980s.
But what of the other consoles? Not all had huge video game releases or nifty accessories to push them to forefront of retail displays or shopping lists.
March 22 was a national holiday in Japan: the spring equinox actually fell on Sunday 21, but the holiday itself was held over until Monday. That could have been a factor in the rise in hardware sales, but more likely is the start of a short school holiday before the next academic session began on April 1.
One notable beneficiary this week was the Xbox 360. Traditionally not as popular in Japan as it is in North America, Microsoft's machine cracked the 3,000 unit mark.
North Star Warriors was released in Japan on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but this was no mere nod to its eventual Western release as the Xbox 360 version sold 30,000 units, placing it at seventh in the weekly software top 10.
The presence of such a cultural heavyweight on 360 may well have persuaded some new owners that the console was a safe investment of leisure funds, and that the system would be privy to at least some of the important titles that the PlayStation brand enjoys.
Another niche console, the PSP Go, also managed to pass a milestone - it outsold the aging PlayStation 2 by nearly 100 units and, for one weak at least, no longer has to suffer the ignomy of being the newest and yet the lowest-selling console on the market.
1) PlayStation 3: 50,448
2) Sony PSP: 48,234
3) Nintendo DS: 45,559
4) Nintendo Wii: 36,849
5) Xbox 360: 3,002
6) PlayStation 2: 1,785
Sony PSP sales breakdown
PSP go: 1,785
Nintendo DS sales breakdown
DS Lite: 4,995
DSi LL: 23,188
Source: Media CreateReuse content