2009 looked fairly dire for the Japanese games industry. Now that we're on the other side of the year, we can assess the damage. Andriasang reports Enterbrain numbers claiming that, overall, the market shrank ¥543 billion, a reduction of 6.9% from 2008. Since we're in a Seinfeld-quoting mood today, we might posit that the Japanese game industry had been in the pool.

Hardware sales dropped 13.9
%, with the DS unsurprisingly leading among consoles with 4,025,313 million units and the Xbox 360 even less surprisingly at the bottom, with 331,706 consoles sold. In software, the big winner (or smallest loser, we suppose, given the overall tone of the news) was Dragon Quest IX, which sold a whopping 4,100,968 copies -- slightly more than the total number of DS consoles sold in 2009! Final Fantasy XIII managed to make it onto the tail end of the top five with 1,698,256 copies. But if you weren't Square Enix or Nintendo (who had the other three spots on the top five software charts), 2009 was one to forget.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.