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Game Market Shrunk Slightly in 2009

Software sales up, but hardware sales down in Enterbrain sales report.

Square Enix continues to support Dragon Quest IX with weekly quest downloads.

It's March 31, and that means the end of the fiscal year. For the Japanese game industry, that has to mean another report about market shrinkage, right?

Actually, while the the market did shrink from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2009, the difference was minor thanks to stronger software sales.

Enterbrain released an early version of its annual market data report today. As usual, Famitsu.com passed along the details.

The fiscal year for Enterbrain's sales data covered March 30, 2009 through March 28, 2010. Overall sales reached 549,060 million yen, a drop of 0.6% from 2008's 552,420 million yen.

Hardware was down sharply. This year's 216,180 million yen in sales was a fall of 6.6% from 2008's 231,520 million yen.

Software, on the other hand, was up. This year's total of 332,880 million yen was up 3.7% from last year's 320,900 million yen.

Famitsu also passed along system and software totals for the fiscal year.

The DS platform, which includes the DS, DS Lite, DSi, and DSi LL, topped the hardware charts with 3,922,762 units, bringing its life to date (LTD) above the 30 million mark. PSP, including PSP go, was a distant second, with 2,422,765 units.

Here's the hardware sales chart. LTDs are in parentheses.

  • 1. DS: 3,922,762 (30,075,728)
  • 2. PSP: 2,422,765 (14,227,354)
  • 3. Wii: 2,183,938 (10,137,092)
  • 4. PS3: 1,925,429 (4,934,824)
  • 5. X360: 251,911 (1,253,102)

All top five software titles were released over the fiscal year. DS grabbed three of the top five lots, with Wii and PS3 splitting the remaining two. Here's the software list:

  • 1. Dragon Quest IX (Square Enix, DS, 7/11): 4,150,667
  • 2. Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver (Pokemon, DS, 9/12): 3,663,655
  • 3. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Nintendo, Wii, 12/3): 3,587,755
  • 4. Friend Collection (Nintendo, DS, 6/18): 3,085,838
  • 5. Final Fantasy XIII (Square Enix, PS3, 12/17): 1,881,972

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