Sony PS3 Beats Nintendo Wii in Japan Monthly Sales

Sony's PlayStation 3 outsold Nintendo's Wii game console in Japan in November for the first time since the machines were launched last year, showing Sony may finally be overcoming a slow start versus its upstart rival.

Sony sold 183,217 PS3s in Japan in the four weeks to Nov. 25, topping sales of 159,193 Wii consoles, said game magazine publisher Enterbrain, a key watcher of trends in the sector.

Sony dominated the game industry with its previous generation unit, the PlayStation 2, but lost its crown to the low-cost Wii with its new idea of a motion sensor in the control unit.

This opened the way to a whole new range of games and even exercise programs.

Some months saw 5-6 times as many Wii units sold as PS3s in Japan, an important battleground for the Japanese console makers and their key U.S. rival, Microsoft and its Xbox 360 console.

The PS3 was hampered by a scarcity of strong game titles and a high price tag but Sony said more games were now available and it has cut prices.

Sales have also been boosted by a new mid-range model with a 40-gigabyte hard disk drive, the company said.

Shares in Sony fell 0.8 percent on Friday while Nintendo shares rose 2.8 percent.