Nintendo counts cash as gamers splash out

A hundred quid a second? Dead right I'm laughing, pal

To the surprise of no one, the just-revealed sales figures for games hardware and software in Japan last year underline what a massive 12 months it was for the industry as a whole and Nintendo in particular.

The total amount spent on gaming - including handhelds, consoles and the titles to play on them - was a massive ¥688 billion, which converts to just under £3.2 billion. To put it another way, Japan's residents forked out over £100 on games each and every second throughout the year.

Nintendo laughing all the way

Unsurprisingly, a hefty chunk of that is now in the Bank of Mario, with Nintendo securing the top two hardware sales spots for the DS and Wii respectively. 2007 sales for the handheld notched 7.1 million units, while the console hit 3.6 million.

As for Ninty's rivals, Sony's PSP managed a respectable 3 million sales, which is more than double the number of PS3 consoles sold in Japan (1.2 million) last year. Bringing up the rear was Microsoft's Xbox 360 at just over 250,000 units shifted in the same period.

Fit for business

Despite concerns over the longevity of its famously simplistic offerings, Nintendo clearly isn't resting on its laurels. The data from Enterbrain shows that Wii Fit has sold one million copies in the month since its launch and that Wii Sports, which is sold separately from the console in Japan, is closing in on 2 million.

Looking ahead, Nintendo's Satoru Iwata suggests that even more innovation may flow from the Kyoto company, with train timetables, shopping guides and plenty more due before long.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.