Last week, sales for video games and consoles in Japan saw an average decline of 38% which may seem shocking, but it’s normal coming off of Golden Week, a Japanese holiday that often represents the longest vacation periods handed out by companies.

As such, the Nintendo 3DS, only twelve weeks in saw its lowest sales yet, made worse by the Nintendo Wii showing its weakest week of sales on record. Nintendo can’t wait until they show off their new consoles at E3 in a few weeks.

The only release during the week for the 3DS was Steel Diver and for the Wii, no new games came out. For two consoles that desperately need major game releases, this doesn’t bode well. The 3D handheld has been subject to criticism since launch for its poor line-up of games and the Wii has it even worse now that’s it’s obsolete in terms of tech, motion controls and with its successor about to be unveiled, even its games library.

While Nintendo may be having a rough time in Japan, Sony’s PSP is continuing to flourish thanks to a variety of top-selling games (6 of the 10 top sellers are PSP titles) and a great console price. Take a look at the hardware unit sales for period of May 9-15:

  1. Sony PSP: 34,826
  2. Nintendo 3DS: 18,324
  3. Sony PlayStation 3: 13,789
  4. Nintendo DS: 10,858
  5. Nintendo Wii: 6,336
  6. Xbox 360: 2,763
  7. Sony PlayStation 2: 1,319

The PSP beats out all Nintendo handhelds, even if you add the 3DS and DS together, while the PS3 destroys the Wii and Xbox 360.  Microsoft doesn’t have a strong presence in the region and somehow, somewhere, people are buying PS2s every week.

Sony currently holds a firm grasp at the moment and it’ll be interesting to see how the handheld and home console markets shake up upon release of Sony’s NGP, Nintendo’s Stream/Wii 2 and more key titles for the 3DS.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Media Create (via Gamasutra)