88K Sony PlayStation 3 Consoles Sold in Japan

Saturday’s launch of the PlayStation 3 console in Japan led to sales of 88,400 units of the new gaming machine, according to figures from Enterbrain.

Enterbrain publishes local gaming magazine Famitsu, and its figures are generally regarded in the gaming industry as reliable.

Sony PlayStation 3
Sony PlayStation 3

Prior to the launch, Sony Computer Entertainment said it would distribute 100,000 units of the PlayStation 3 in Japan on Saturday. A week prior to launch, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun business newspaper reported that Sony cut its launch shipments to 80,000 units, which Sony denied.

The majority of consoles sold were the more expensive model with a 60GB hard-disk drive, Enterbrain said. It estimated 54,600 units were the 60GB model, and the remaining 33,800 units were the cheaper model that has a 20GB hard-disk drive.

Among the five launch software titles, Ridge Racer 7 came in at 30,300 sales, which was just slightly ahead of Gundam: Target In Sight, which sold 30,000 copies, according to the figures. The third-ranked title was Resistance: Fall of Man, which sold 15,700 copies, Enterbrain said. In total there was slightly less software sold than consoles, the company said.

If correct, that appears to back up the apparent large number of sales made on launch day to people who would not be playing games but trying to resell the PlayStation 3 online for a profit. A number of people questioned on launch day appeared not to be gamers, and some were seen buying the console with no software. Consoles are selling on Internet auction sites for about 50 percent higher than the retail price and did fetch higher prices in the hours after launch.

Media Create, another company that estimates game console and software sales, is due to announce its market estimates for the PlayStation 3 later this week.

The PlayStation 3 will go on sale in North America, Hong Kong and Taiwan on Friday. It’s scheduled to hit the European and Australian markets in March 2007.

-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau)

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