April 29th, 2005, 22:00 Posted By: wraggster
The Nintendo DS took a strong lead in the Japanese game hardware ranking last week, with the platform accounting for almost 53 per cent of all hardware sold thanks to the launch of new coloured versions and key new software titles.
Sales of the platform are believed to have hit around 96,000 units for the week, compared with just 33,000 for the PlayStation Portable, as software including Nintendo's own Nintendogs and Tomy's latest Naruto game arrived for the console.
The top-selling software title for the week was Square Enix' PS2 RPG Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song, which sold around 217,000 units but was completely sold out at many retailers, according to market watchers Media Create, and should sell strongly again once it is restocked.
Nintendo's GameCube strategy title Fire Emblem: Souen no Kiseki was at number two, with around 108,000 sales, but in real terms it was outsold by DS exclusive title Nintendogs, which racked up 181,000 sales in total - an amazing number for a title on such a recently launched platform.
However, since the game was launched in three different versions (Shiba, Dachs and Chihuahua), these three were tracked as separate products - meaning that the puppy simulation title took places four, five and six in the chart, rather than being listed as a single product at number two.
Tomy's latest game to be based on the hugely popular Naruto anime franchise, Naruto: Saikyou Ninja Daikesshuu 3, is another DS title which performed incredibly strongly this week, popping in at number three in the chart.
The performance of the Nintendo DS this week, combined with its strong performance in the past month following the arrival of the first batch of new colours, has narrowed the sales gap between the two new handheld consoles significantly.
Year to date sales for the DS stand at around 675,000 units, while the PSP has racked up around 758,000 units - and of course, the DS entered the year with a massive lead in Japan, most of which it still retains.
Aside from the DS' 53 per cent market share this week, the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable had 18 per cent share apiece, with the Game Boy Advance on six per cent and the GameCube just shy of five per cent.
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