With a certain portable system from Nintendo breaking hardware and software records, you just knew there was going to be good news overall for the game industry come the end of the fiscal year. Sure enough, 2006 was a record year, according to Japan's Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association (CESA).
Mainichi.com and Asahi.com, relaying an announcement from the firm, report that worldwide game industry related shipments totaled 1,632,300,000,000 yen (approximately $14.2 billion) for the year. This is the highest figure since CESA started providing reports in 1996. The previous record was in 2001, where a hot PS2 pushed shipments to 1,457,400,000,000 yen.
This figure breaks down to 958.1 billion yen for hardware and 674.2 billion yen for software. Both of these figures are also new records. Software sales had previously peaked in 2000 at 570 billion yen. Hardware had previously peaked in 2001 at 930 billion yen.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Nintendo's hot portable was mentioned by CESA as reason for the record number. The dual screened device in both its original and redesigned "lite" forms accounted for 30.9% of hardware sales, beating the PSP's 20.1%, the PS2's 18.8%, and the PS3's 18.5%. It was the same story in software, with the Nintendo hardware taking 34.8% of sales, beating the PS2's 29.8%. The PSP got just 7.9% of the total.
Surprisingly, when you look exclusively at Japan, where that certain portable system is fast on its way to topping the PS2 in lifetime sales, 2006 was not a record breaking year. Japanese shipments reached 679.9 billion yen, down some from 1997's record 760 billion yen. While hardware, with 266.5 billion yen in sales was at an all time high, the 413.3 billion yen in software could not compete with 1997's 580 billion, despite beating 2005's 310 billion by a wide amount. As reason for the strong sales in 1997, CESA stated that software prices were higher that year.
View: Original Story @ IGN