Japan: Square Enix 2008 Unit Sales Down Nearly 63%* (UPDATED)


Japan - The seismic effects of market shifts and economic gloom in combination with a rather short release list have made a significant impact for Square Enix. In 2007, eighteen releases spread across five systems (DS, PSP, PS2, Wii, 360) added up to a shockingly huge 4.5 million units sold.

In contrast, Square Enix's 2008 effort of ten releases across four systems (DS, PSP, Wii, 360) resulted in a far lesser 1.7 million units sold.* This is a 2.8 million unit difference and is a eye-popping 62.48% decline from 2007.

[PSP] Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII - 729,459
[NDS] Dragon Quest IV - 601,737
[NDS] Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings - 500,543
[WII] Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors - 453,445
[NDS] Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fate - 363,030
[NDS] Itadaki Street DS - 361,558
[PS2] Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ - 301,830
[PSP] Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions - 282,770
[NDS] Final Fantasy Tactics A2: The Sealed Grimoire - 259,364
[NDS] Subarashiki Kono Sekai: It's a Wonderful World - 171,629
[PSP] Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition - 117,689
[PS2] Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System - 104,287
[NDS] Heroes of Mana - 82,865
[PS2] Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess expansion data disk - 82,597
[PSP] Final Fantasy II Anniversary Edition - 45,627
[NDS] Front Mission - 17,715
[360] Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess expansion data disk - 12,927
[360] Final Fantasy XI: Vana'diel Collection - 3,212
18 TITLES THROUGH 11-19-07, TOTAL: 4,492,284

[NDS] Dragon Quest V - 1,152,229
[PSP] Star Ocean: Second Evolution - 141,218
[NDS] Valkyrie Profile: The Accused One - 118,374
[360] Infinite Undiscovery - 96,197
[NDS] Cid and Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: The Labyrinth of Lost Time DS+ - 46,362
[NDS] Sigma Harmonics - 42,552
[NDS] Nanashi no Game (The Game with no Name) - 41,481
[NDS] Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness - 32,917
[WII] Soul Eater: Monotone Princess - 8,198
[NDS] DS Bookkeeping, Level 3 - 6,044
10 TITLES THROUGH 11-19-08, TOTAL: 1,685,572

This isn't all doom and gloom though, unless you're a PS3 owner still waiting for a Square Enix product after two full years. Chart Get! correctly pointed out that 2008 would be a slow year for Square Enix but it wasn't yet apparent just how slow it would be.

Look at this chart from our recent past (right). One can observe a cyclical pattern emerging that this analyst believes is directly related to the age of the applicable generation. Another significant factor is the proximity of the first Final Fantasy main-line release for the generation.

This cycle should point to increased releases in 2009, and assuming FFXIII is one of them (hopefully not too large of an assumption at this point, right?), a significant increase in sales is due as well.

* It should be noted that Chrono Trigger DS and The Last Remnant have both just released and may change the scope of these results slightly, but not enough to significantly alter the analysis.

Source = Famitsu Historical Data


Scrutiny is the best peer review, right? I had a ton of feedback on this article, both positive and negative based on my method. Some of it was relevant (the captured data compared in similar time periods), and some of it was not (calendar vs. fiscal).

I adjusted the dates of the 2007 data to exclude the second half of November and all of December, a difference of almost 2 million units. I also corrected a data-collection oversight that included 2008 data for games released in 2007, a 207k difference.

The result is data collected by a better method and only a slightly less shocking title.

I'd like to tip my hat to my friends and colleagues Joshua J Slone and Donny2112 of NeoGAF for their guidance and support on this one. Thank you very much. - PL


MC 2008-11-17 and Famitsu 2008-11-10: Things of Note


Based on the latest Famitsu hardware numbers...
PSP comparisons: After 206 weeks, PSP is where PS2 was at 153.3 weeks (February 4, 2003), where DS was at 91.7 weeks (September 1, 2006), and where GBA was at 137.9 weeks (November 8, 2003).

X360 comparisons: After 154 weeks, X360 is where GCN was at 15.0 weeks (December 23, 2001), where PS3 was at 19.0 weeks (March 18, 2007), and where Wii was at 4.0 weeks (December 24, 2006).

PS3 comparisons: After 106 weeks, PS3 is where PS2 was at 23.6 weeks (August 10, 2000), where PSP was at 54.4 weeks (December 21, 2005), where GCN was at 107.7 weeks (October 3, 2003), and where Wii was at 25.6 weeks (May 24, 2007).

Wii comparisons: After 103 weeks, Wii is where GBA was at 90.9 weeks (December 14, 2002), where DS was at 71.2 weeks (April 10, 2006), where PS2 was at 100.5 weeks (January 31, 2002), and where PSP was at 156.2 weeks (December 3, 2007).

DSi comparisons: After 3 weeks, DSi is where GBASP was at 4.7 weeks (March 14, 2003), where GBM was at 11.8 weeks (December 2, 2005), and where DSL was at 3.7 weeks (March 24, 2006).

Based on the latest Media Create hardware numbers...
DS vs PSP: Weekly shares of 63.7 / 36.3 bring total shares to 69.0 / 31.0. If DS stopped selling and PSP continued at this week's rate, it would catch up in 217.4 weeks (January 24, 2013).

X360 vs PS3: Weekly shares of 47.0 / 53.0 bring total shares to 24.0 / 76.0. If PS3 stopped selling and X360 continued at this week's rate, it would catch up in 107.8 weeks (December 18, 2010).

PS3 vs Wii: Weekly shares of 33.1 / 66.9 bring total shares to 25.8 / 74.2. If Wii stopped selling and PS3 continued at this week's rate, it would catch up in 262.5 weeks (December 5, 2013).

Week over week, PS2 and PS3 are pretty flat, but everything else is ramping (or bumping) up.

Wii passes 7 million.

Famitsu Software Stuff
Last week the new Kirby (3265) did better than any other modern Kirby through two weeks. Now after two weeks it's doing better than any other modern Kirby through four weeks, and just barely misses making it five. It also passes up Canvas Curse altogether.

Through its first few weeks, Wii Music was holding on to a greater percent of its opening sales on a weekly basis than last year's Super Mario Galaxy, but that changes with week five. Though SMG launching slightly later in the year, its week five is further into the normal holiday bump.

Some new software groups:
Way of the Samurai
Way of the Samurai 3 (3272) opens with a first week just slightly below the original (1434), and well above Way of the Samurai PSP (3189) and Samurai Western (2070).

Shiren DS 2 (3274) opens nearly 40% lower than its predecessor from last year (155), though last year's game has an advantage being a late December release. Also a slightly weaker opening than this June's new Wii Shiren (2984).

Resistance 2 opens up with a much stronger first week than the original. I'm sure having a userbase of more than 90K this time around helps.

Mega Man Star Force
Mega Man Star Force 3 (3273) starts out just below the original (218) and the second (2665). The second ended up doing far less than the original, though, so it's hard to say where 3 will go from here.


360 Gains In Japan a Mirage


Media Create Sales: 11/17 - 11/24 (Consoles)

Japan - In the same week that the Wii has crossed 7 million units sold, the 360 (long since written off in Japan by sales enthusiasts, and correctly, I might add) is once again playing as a potential spoiler against Sony's PS3.

One look at the Weekly Console Sales Chart (line, 2nd chart down) will show the gains 360 has made at PS3's expense. A closer look at market share charts is more revealing; the Weekly Console Market Share (line, 4th chart down) shows a once sub-5% weekly take has climbed above 20% nine of the last eleven weeks.

For a larger perspective, please observe the Total Console Market Share Chart (line, 6th down) and the Year on Year Console YTD Chart (line, last chart in this post) and one will observe that the 360 has really only gained back the ground it lost over the past year and only now hovers where it was in December 2007 (7.51%).

More importantly, one will notice that the 360 has basically sold one-for-one with itself from 2007 with a slight gain. While a 60k gain from the previous year isn't anything to sneeze at for a console that regularly posted 3.5k weeks this very year, it's really peanuts compared to Wii's 550k negative difference and PS3's 135k negative difference, especially considering they outsold the 360 by 500k and 2 million units respectively.

So what are we really seeing? First, we're seeing 360's concurrent RPG releases make an impact on weekly sales at the same time the Wii and the PS3 are seeing year-on-year slowdowns.

Does this mean the 360 will suddenly take control of the weekly charts and take a commanding lead any time soon from the PS3? Doubtful. A close look at YOY charts across the board shows that the 360, outside of big releases in August and September, is only slightly elevated from the previous year's effort.

The true question at hand is what we're seeing from the PS3. The Wii is mirroring its YOY chart at a slight reduction (-10k this week), and the 360 is at a slight increase from 2007 (+8k), but last year at this time the PS3 was selling 40-50 thousand units during this period. That creates a dropoff from 2007 of twenty to thirty thousand units.

Is the PS3 suffering more from the economy than the Wii or the 360? Could it only be price? Does it matter and does any of that justify stagnant sales during a heightened-sales season?*

As always, we'll know just a little more next week.

* they don't celebrate Christmas, goofball.


Japan: Nintendo Sells 820k+ Software in One Week, Sony 290k


Media Create Sales: 11/17 - 11/24

The latest Media Create Top 30 has been released and it appears that Japan has forgiven Nintendo for Wii Music and has instead decided to have a little party of "let's buy everything that we can!"

Between Animal Crossing: City Folk, Chrono Trigger DS, and several others, Nintendo moved more than eight-hundred thousand units of software in one week.

The anticipated 360 RPG The Last Remnant (SE) had a great week at 100k, and Namco Bandai's Gundam v Gundam did extremely well at 267k.

The PS3 was nearly shut out of the top 10 but was able to squeak in with Way of the Samurai 3 at around 20k.

(click to enlarge)

01. [WII] Animal Crossing: City Folk (Nintendo) 305,000 / NEW
02. [NDS] Chrono Trigger DS (Square Enix) 271,000 / NEW
03. [PSP] Gundam vs. Gundam (Namco Bandai) 267,000 / NEW
04. [360] The Last Remnant (Square Enix) 101,000 / NEW
05. [NDS] Saka DS: Touch and Go (SEGA) 72,000 / NEW
06. [NDS] Hoshi no Kirby: Ultra Super Deluxe (Nintendo) 55,000 / 418,000
07. [NDS] Wagamama Fashion Girls Mode (Nintendo) 25,000 / 209,000
08. [NDS] Rhythm Tengoku Gold (Nintendo) 25,000 / 1,184,000
09. [NDS] Pokémon Platinum (Pokémon) 24,000 / 1,941,000
10. [PS3] Way of the Samurai 3 (Spike) 20,000 / 100,000

11. [WII] Wii Fit (Nintendo)
12. [NDS] Tongari Boushi to Mahou no 365 Nichi (Konami)
13. [PSP] Prinny (Japan's Software)
14. [PS3] Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Spec III (SCE)
15. [PS2] Nightmare Princess??? (Yeti)
16. [360] Otomediusu (Konami)
17. [PSP] Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (PSP the Best) (Capcom)
18. [NDS] Fushigi no Dungeon Fuurai no Shiren DS 2: Sabaku no Majou (SEGA)
19. [NDS] DS Nishimura Kyoutarou Suspense 2 Shintantei Series:… (Tecmo)
20. [NDS] Ryuusei no Rockman 3: Black Ace (Capcom)
21. [WII] Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo)
22. [WII] Wii Music (Nintendo)
23. [PS3] Rachet & Clank: Maru Hi Ignition (SCE)
24. [PS3] Grand Theft Auto IV (Capcom)
25. [PS2] The Shield of AIGIS (Alchemist)
26. [PS3] Resistance 2 (SCE)
27. [PS2] Hitman Reborn: Forbidden… (Marvelous)
28. [WII] Family Ski World Ski & Snowboard (Namco Bandai)
29. [NDS] Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo)
30. [NDS] Personal Trainer: Walking (Nintendo)

TOP 30


UK Loves Call of Duty, Footy, Nintendo


United Kingdom - The latest Chart-Track software chart is in and Call of Duty: World at War takes the top spot for the second week in a row.

Rounding out the top 10 are 4 Nintendo games and 3 Football (soccer!) games, leaving just enough space for the panned Need for Speed: Undercover and everybody's favorite jiggler at 9th.

Chart-Track Sales 11/17 - 11-23 (UK)
1. Call of Duty: World at War
2. FIFA ‘09
3. Mario Kart Wii
4. Need for Speed: Undercover
5. Wii Fit
6. Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training
7. Football Manager 2009
8. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009
9. Tomb Raider: Underworld
10. Wii Play

I'd like to announce this will be a regular feature from here on out; expect the UK Top Ten to be posted every Monday. Unfortunately, no numbers are available so the colorful graphs and chart opportunities are few, but still. If I find something that I can graphically represent you will be the first to know!

Enjoy! :)


Famitsu Sales Shares: 2008-11-09


Graphs updated through 11/9. It looks like DSi had equal impact on hardware shares compared to PSP-3000 (PSP-2000 is a typo, I'll fix it next time).

Also, PS3 is currently winning Wii shares:


Wii Closing In On 7 Million Sold; PS3 May Not Hit 5 Million (ever)


Media Create Sales: 11/10 - 11/16 (Consoles)

Japan - As Nintendo's two-year anniversary of the Wii launch approaches, lifetime sales for the system are nearing a PS2-like 7 million units early in its life cycle. Weekly market share gains strength (51%) and lifetime market share continues to hover around the 70% mark that it has been flirting with since April of 2007.

In stark contrast, the PS3 has only just crossed the 2.4 million mark in two years. If the trend continues, the PS3 may barely pass 5 million lifetime in the traditional console life cycle of 5 years. Total lifetime market share has held steady between 22% and 27% since January of 2007.

Notably, Microsoft's 360 has clearly taken a major bite out of Sony's Japanese strategy, taking more than 7% market share that would presumably go to the PS3.

(click to enlarge)



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