Despite its slow start, Nintendo's new 3DS portable console is expected to end the year as the highest-selling console in Japan, according to analysts in that region.
In its annual industry report released this week (as partially translated by Andriasang
) major video game media publisher Enterbrain projects that the system will sell 2,868,000 units by year's end, putting it ahead of the year's current leader, Sony's PSP, projected to sell 2,378,000 units.
Additionally, the company says that the overall hardware sales decline that began in 2007 will continue through 2012. In 2007, a combined 16,156,100 new video game consoles were sold in Japan, a number that incrementally decreased to 9,441,900 in 2010. While that total number is projected to bump up slightly this year (to 9,925,000), it is expected to fall below that in 2012 to 8,408,000, despite predictions that at least two new systems -- Sony's NGP and Nintendo's unnamed Wii successor -- will be on the market.
In its first twelve weeks on the market, the 3DS has sold 996,019 units in the region, the majority of those coming during the first four (742,244 of them, to be exact). Sales have since stabilized, averaging around 31,722 units in each of the last eight weeks.
To reach Enterbrain's projected 2,868,000 number, the 3DS will have to sell an average of 58,499 units a week for the rest of the year, an 84 percent leap from where it's at currently. The holiday shopping rush will of course boost sales significantly, though without knowing Nintendo's holiday software line-up, that boost is nearly impossible to predict.
Enterbrain's projections for all current and upcoming systems for the next two years follow, with 2010's sales numbers provided for comparison purposes.
Note that while Enterbrain did not define "Next Gen," the only system expected to launch in 2011 -- barring a surprise announcement from Nintendo -- is Sony's NGP, which the company says will sell just over half a million this year. Its 2011 Next Gen projection likely includes Nintendo's unannounced Wii successor.