Japan Wii, PSP weekly sales triple after price cuts

TOKYO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Sales of Nintendo Co Ltd's 7974.OS Wii game console and Sony Corp's 6758.T PlayStation Portable handheld player tripled last week in Japan, driven by price cuts and launches of major software titles, a research firm said. Keen to stir up sluggish demand ahead of the critical year-end shopping season, Nintendo slashed the price of the Wii by 20 percent and Sony cut the price of its PSP by 15 percent, both on Oct. 1.

Sales were also boosted by Sony’s launch last week of the PSP version of its popular driving game “Gran Turismo”, and Nintendo’s release of “Wii Fit Plus”, the sequel to its blockbuster home fitness game, “Wii Fit”.

Sony sold about 49,000 units of its PSP in the week ended Sunday, up from 15,000 units a week earlier, while sales of the Wii came to around 32,000 units, compared with 10,500 units in the previous week, Ascii Media Works said.

Shares in Sony rose 2.9 percent to 2,505 yen and Nintendo gained 0.5 percent to 21,840 yen, compared to a 1.1 percent rise for the Nikkei average .N225. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)