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PS3 Comeback in Japan thanks to Sackboy and Niko?

Submitted by on Saturday, 1 November 20085 Comments

No one can say that it’s been plain sailing for the PS3 in its native land of Japan of late. With the 360 buying up  exclusivity rights for numerous JRPGs like Tales of Vesperia, Sony’s closest rival has experienced a resurgence of late and has bested the PS3 in the hardware sales week in for nearly two months.

With Sony’s trifecta of Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm, LittleBigPlanet and White Knight Chronicles all either hitting the market or, in White Knight’s case, just around the corner, the Sony comeback has been heralded as “incoming”.

VGChartz, the source of all gaming industry sales data, have posted up some details which might (or might not, depending on your interpretation of sales figures) bring some sunshine back to the gloomy corporate room at Sony HQ in Minato, Tokyo.

Though these are preliminary stats and will be confirmed soon, it’s probably safe to say that Sony will be back on top (and by top we mean still under the Wii) next week. With predictions of anything in the region of 12,000 units being shifted, some of the thanks will be going to the LBP bundle. The game itself has sold 30,000 copies* on its opening day – which is either exceptionally good if you consider it’s a Western game and a new IP, or a tad disheartening if you espouse the whole idea that Japan traditionally loves these types of games. Of course, these are opening day figures and who knows what will happen over the weekend.

Regarding how much the 360 has eaten into the PS3’s lead in Japan, another game’s opening day sales might give a good indication of the current state of play. You probably didn’t realise this but GTA: IV has just got its long awaited release in Japan this week. Arguably the most popular Western IP in Japan at the moment, it’s interesting to note that wannabe Japanese car-jackers and pimp-lords picked up over 100,000 copies of the game upon its release. With 77,000 of those heading home to be inserted into eager PS3s you don’t have to be a math whizz to work out that that’s 50,000 more copies than the 360 version.

Is Sony turning the corner in Japan? Has the 360’s run come to an end? Let us know what you think in the comments.

*This includes the DualShock3 bundle offer but NOT the PS3 hardware bundle which includes the game.