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Japanese hardware sales back to normal

Everything in its right place.

It's back to normal this week in Japan, as the GameCube's sales percentage slides back down to 17.81 per cent from 27.79 per cent at the end of August (buoyed by Tales of Symphonia), and the PS2 rises to 30.93 per cent from 27.58 in the same period. This despite the release of Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour for the Cube, which couldn't compete with the latest Mobile Suit Gundam game, Encounters in Space, for Sony's black breezeblock.

However overall Nintendo should be happy, with the GBA SP and its older sibling conspiring to swallow almost half the hardware sales going - a whopping 49.71 per cent (SP 41.11, GBA 8.60) of the market, largely thanks to Square Enix's Sword of Mana, which was also bundled with a limited edition SP.

And although we suppose it goes without saying at this stage, Microsoft endured yet another disappointing week, with the Xbox sales share rising a measly 0.05 per cent to 0.56 per cent of all sales - equal to the PSone and marginally ahead of the WonderSwanColor and SwanCrystal. Microsoft's Japanese division will be hoping that announcements at the Tokyo Game Show, and the November 20th release of the locally developed Magatama, can improve matters for the ailing console.