Bonus boost for Wii

Ian Rowley

With the latest round of console wars in full flow, there are signs the popularity of Nintendo's Wii is burgeoning at the expense of Sony’s PlayStation3 in Japan. Late last week, Nikkei Business Daily, a newspaper, and NTT Resonant's goo Research service conducted a survey of consumer buying habits this winter. Among other things, the online survey asked Japanese workers which new game console they planned to buy using their end of year bonuses. Of those intending to get a new console, 74% said they will choose the Wii, compared to just 32% for the PS3 (multiple answers were allowed so some will plan buying both).

One reason, of course, is the Wii's lower cost. In Japan, as elsewhere, the PS3 is about twice as much. Then there's the barrage of hype surrounding the Wii and its new controller. Still, if those questioned do as they say they will, it should have a big impact on sales. On a list of most-wanted products this winter, only flat-screen TVs and DVD recorders rank higher than new game consoles.