Xbox 360 Beats PlayStation 3 in Japan Weekly Sales Chart

The launch of the "Tales of Vesperia" video game helped Microsoft's Xbox 360 record one of its best weeks of sales since launch in Japan in late 2006.

The console sold 24,962 units in the week of Aug. 4 to 10, according to data from Media Create. The company receives actual sales data from around 3,000 stores across Japan and uses that to estimate nationwide sales. In contrast the PlayStation 3 sold 9,673 units and Nintendo's Wii sold 38,506 units, Media Create said.

Sales of the Xbox 360 have lagged those of the PlayStation 3 and Wii ever since its launch. While the console battles neck-and-neck with the PlayStation 3 in other countries Japanese gamers have largely ignored it, instead choosing to buy the latest PlayStation.

This is partly due to the residual effect of the original Xbox's image as a console that lacks the role playing games favored by Japanese gamers. With titles like "Tales of Vesperia" Microsoft has been slowly working on changing that image.

"Tales of Vesperia" is the latest installment in Bandai Namco's long-running "Tales of" series of video games and was launched in Japan on Aug. 7. In addition to the game a special edition Xbox 360 was also available that included a Vesperia faceplate and bonus DVD. When it launched in Japan on Aug. 7 around 200 people were waiting outside the Akihabara outlet of Yodobashi Camera to buy the console.

Following the Japan launch the game will go on sale in North America on Aug. 26 and in Europe in the first half of 2009.

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