Sales of the Nintendo Wii console in Japan are almost 300 percent stronger than those of the rival Sony PlayStation 3 . Enterbrain, Japan's biggest magazine publisher, said yesterday that in January the Wii sold 405,000 Wii units while Sony shifted only 148,000 Playstation3s.

The two Japan-based consoles from Nintendo and Sony are involved in a three-way battle with Microsoft's Xbox 360 .

The reasons for the Wii's success couldn't be any clearer; its lower price, wider range of titles and a more unique approach to gaming are combining to win the day against a vastly more expensive and traditional PS3 console.

Sony losses

And poor sales are not the only factors that Sony will be worried about. While Nintendo is making a profit on every Wii console sold, Sony is taking a thumping loss on every Playstation3 it shifts. In fact the figures roughly work out that Sony loses the equivalent to the retail price of a Wii or Xbox 360 for every PS3 it flogs.

These losses come in spite of the fact that Sony is retailing the cheapest PS3 model for 49,980 yen (£210), double the price of the Nintendo Wii.

Sony losses on the PS3 will not be so bad in the UK though. Brits will have to cough up £425 when Sony launches the PS3 in the UK in March.