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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Japan Game Sales to Reach Record in 2008

By Pavel Alpeyev and Kiyotaka Matsuda

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Japan's sales of video-game hardware and titles will rise to a record for the third year in 2008 on demand for software, said Yoichi Wada, president of Square Enix Co., the country's second-largest game publisher.

The revenue will probably exceed 700 billion yen ($6.4 billion), Wada, also chairman of the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association, said at the Tokyo-based group's luncheon yesterday. Game sales rose 9.9 percent to 687.7 billion yen last year, according to researcher Enterbrain Inc.

``The market conditions are very favorable to growth for software makers worldwide,'' Wada said. ``There are a lot of good titles out there helping to expand the market.''

Square Enix will release the latest version of its bestselling ``Final Fantasy'' game this year, while Capcom Co. will introduce the newest installment of the ``Monster Hunter'' series. New titles helped Nintendo Co.'s DS and Wii become the most popular game machines in Japan in 2007, according to figures from Tokyo-based Enterbrain.

Nintendo sold 7.1 million DS portable players last year, Enterbrain said. The Kyoto-based company sold 3.6 million Wii machines, making the console the second bestseller. Sony Corp.'s

PlayStation Portable was in third place with 3 million units, the Tokyo-based researcher said.
``The industry sales forecast is very realistic,'' Enterbrain Chief Executive Officer Hirokazu Hamamura said at the luncheon. Japan is entering an era where every family will own a game player, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at ; Kiyotaka Matsuda in Tokyo at . Last Updated: January 11, 2008 04:14 EST



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