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Japanese games market shrunk 8% in 2011 despite 3DS launch

Mario Land, Mario Kart best-selling games.

The Japanese videogames market made 8 per cent less money in 2011 than in 2010, new figures have revealed.

Game sales stuttered compared to the previous year, with almost 14 per cent less revenue despite the launch of the Nintendo 3DS and, in the year's final weeks, PlayStation Vita.

Hardware revenue rose - perhaps unsurprising considering the year's dual platform launches - but not by much.

Japanese gamers bought £1.5 billion of hardware in 2011, an increase of just 2.4 per cent from 2010.

Software sales notched up £2.29 billion, down 13.7 per cent according to chart company Enterbrain (via Andriasang).

The year's big winner was the 3DS - it topped the hardware chart with 4.1 million units sold, beating the PSP in second place which sold 1.9 million, with the PS3 and Wii close behind.

The 3DS also scored the top two best-selling games of the year - Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, each managing to amount a million sales in the few weeks they were on shop shelves.

Predictably, the Monster Hunter franchise also performed well, with the latest PSP and 3DS incarnations winning third and fourth places on the year's software chart. The full yearly figures lie below.

2011 Japanese Hardware sales

  1. Nintendo 3DS: 4,135,739
  2. PSP: 1,960,177 (life to date: 18,237,108)
  3. PlayStation 3: 1,467,261 (7,417,148)
  4. Wii: 937,451 (12,167,743)
  5. Nintendo DS: 711,204 (32,835,502)
  6. PlayStation Vita: 402,794
  7. Xbox 360: 114,075 (1,520,738)

2011 Japanese Software sales

  1. [3DS] Mario Kart 7 - 1,082,391
  2. [3DS] Super Mario 3D Land - 1,042,511
  3. [PSP] Monster Hunter Portable 3rd - 1,021,457 (4,502,446)
  4. [3DS] Monster Hunter 3G - 809,322
  5. [PS3] Final Fantasy XIII-2 - 697,146
  6. [PSP] Final Fantasy Type-0 - 696,428
  7. [WII] Minna no Rhythm Tengoku - 633,429
  8. [PS3] Tales of Xillia - 632,151
  9. [WII] Wii Sports Resort - 612,807 (2,732,655)
  10. [WII] Wii Party - 584,545 (2,123,773)

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Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon. Tom joined Eurogamer in 2010 following a stint running a Nintendo fansite, and still owns two GameCubes. He also still plays Pokémon Go every day.