PlayStation 3 has worst week of sales since launch

The PlayStation 3 recorded its worst week of sales last week since its launch in Japan, according to figures published Friday.

The data, from Media Create Co., put PlayStation 3 sales at 25,531 units for the week ending Jan. 14. Overall the entire market for newly launched consoles was poor, with total sales of the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 hitting an estimated 128,274 units. That’s the lowest week in sales since Nintendo Co.’s Wii launched in Japan on Dec. 2 and made the market a three-console race.

Wii sales for the week were estimated at 93,708 units, the second-worst week of sales since the 85,439 units sold during the week immediately after the Wii’s launch.

Sales of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 totaled 9,035 units, according to the data. The year-old console got a boost in early December when the “Blue Dragon” title was launched and offered as a bundle with the machine, but weekly sales are now dropping back to levels seen before that game was launched.

Sony Computer Entertainment said this week that shipments of the PlayStation 3 to retailers in Japan hit 1 million units on Jan. 16. The data released Friday from Media Create counts actual sales to end customers and so is not directly comparable. Nevertheless, there is a big gap between what Media Create estimates is being sold through shops and what Sony says it has shipped to retailers.

Media Create takes sales data from around 3,000 shops across Japan and extrapolates that into national sales estimates. It says it is confident of its figures.

In the software ranking, Nintendo’s “Wii Sports,” which isn’t bundled with the console in Japan, hit the No. 1 position with estimated sales of 61,399 units. “Wii Play” was in third place at 54,578 units. The rest of the top ten was occupied by Nintendo DS titles except for the eighth-ranking game, the PlayStation Portable’s “Metal Gear Solid Ops,” which sold 28,152 copies.

The highest ranking PlayStation 3 game was “Resistance: Fall of Man” at No. 40. No Xbox 360 games appeared in the top 50.