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Game Market Falls 25% in First Half of 2009 -- Enterbrain

Lack of million sellers notable compared to previous year.

 
A train station billboard for Dragon Quest IX in Tokyo. Some analysts expect the game to sell five million copies.

The domestic games market saw a significant drop off in the first half of the year, Itmedia reports today citing statistics from Enterbrain. Both hardware and software were down.

For the period covering December 29, 2008 to June 28, 2009, the domestic games market did 218,920 million yen of business. This was a 24.4% drop from the same period the year before. Individually, hardware saw a 27.6% drop, with software down 21.8%.

One of the reasons for the software drop off could be a lack of million sellers. Last year's first half totals had four million sellers, including Smash Bros. Brawl and Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G.

This year's top selling game was Mario & Luigi RPG 3!!! (Nintendo, DS) at 650,000 units. Following it were Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (Capcom, PSP), Yakuza 3 (Sega, PS3), Resident Evil 5 (Capcom, PS3), and Wii Fit (Nintendo, Wii) in that order.

DS lead the way in hardware for the first half of the year, selling 1.62 million units across all varieties. PSP came in second with 1.18 million units.

Consoles didn't even come close to the million mark. Wii was the best selling system for the first half of the year with 640,000 units. PS3, despite boosts from releases like Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV, and the Final Fantasy XIII demo, only managed second, with 550,000 units. Xbox 360 sold 210,000 units.

Things will presumably pick up in the second half of the year, which will benefit from such major releases as Dragon Quest IX, Monster Hunter 3, and possibly Final Fantasy XIII. Additionally, key Nintendo releases like Wii Sports Resort (included for two days worth of sales in the above totals) will likely have continued sales.

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