PSP ships 5mil in Japan, still way behind DS

The conventional wisdom is that the Nintendo DS is absolutely walloping the PSP in Japanese sales. And the conventional wisdom is right -- Japan buys roughly three DS units for every every PSP unit sold. But the seemingly lopsided data belies the interesting fact that Sony has shipped a relatively healthy 5 million Japanese PSP units so far. For context, the GameCube only sold 4 million Japanese units in its entire lifetime, according to VGCharts.

The data shows the immense popularity of portables in the land of the rising sun, with approximately 20 million combined PSP and DS units sold there since 2004. Compare that to the roughly 3 million combined Japanese sales for the three next generation consoles and it suddenly doesn't seem so crazy to focus on the Japanese portable market exclusively. With big-selling franchises like Monster Hunter supporting even the second-ranked Japanese portable, are the days of the Japanese console numbered?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.