Xbox 360 beats PS3 in Japan

Attendees play "99 Knights" at the XBox 360 booth at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles May 10, 2006. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

TOKYO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's MSFT.O Xbox 360 beat Sony Corp's 6758.T PlayStation 3 in Japan weekly sales for the first time two weeks ago, riding robust demand for a recent Xbox 360 title produced by Namco Bandai Holdings 7832.T, a magazine publisher said.

Microsoft sold 28,116 units of the Xbox 360 in the week ended August 10, compared with 10,705 units of the PS3, driven by the August 7 launch in Japan of Namco Bandai’s “Tales of Vesperia” role-playing game, Ascii Media Works said.

Microsoft, locked in a three-way game console battle with Sony and Nintendo Co Ltd 7974.OS, has been struggling to stir up demand for the Xbox 360 in Japan.

During the week, the Microsoft machine still lagged behind Nintendo’s Wii, which sold 41,044 units, according to an Ascii Media Works report dated August 14.

The Wii has been leading the global video game console market since its launch in late 2006 thanks to its easy-to-learn motion-sensing controller, low price and innovative software titles such as “Wii Fit” exercise game.

Namco Bandai plans to launch “Tales of Vesperia”, an Xbox 360 exclusive, in North America on August 26.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Hugh Lawson