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Japanese games industry suffers fall in revenues

Game sales on the up, but handhelds launch too late to avoid drop in hardware income

The Japanese games industry saw global hardware sales and software shipments slip by almost 20 per cent in 2004, according to a new report issued by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA).

Although there was a 9 per cent rise in software sales to 468.4 billion yen (US$4.33 billion), hardware shortages, price cuts and market saturation caused a 37.4 per cent drop in sales - reducing revenues down to 440.7 billion yen (US$4.08 billion).

As a result, total revenue for the year stands at 909.1 billion yen (US$8.44 billion) - a fall of 19.8 per cent.

However, CESA president Kenzo Tsujimoto said that the industry should recover with the launch of next-generation consoles. The Xbox 360 is due to launch in Japan this November, followed by the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Revolution in 2006.

Handheld sales are also set to improve the figures - Sony's PSP and the Nintendo DS only launched in December, too late to make up for the overall drop in revenues.

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Ellie Gibson avatar
Ellie Gibson: Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.