Sony Corp. (SNE) sold 466,716 PlayStation 3 game consoles in Japan by the end of last month, less than half of its shipment target and of sales of Nintendo Co.'s (7974) rival Wii console, video game magazine publisher Enterbrain said on Tuesday.

Enterbrain said Nintendo sold 989,118 Wii units despite a launch date about three weeks later than the PS3 in Japan. Nintendo introduced the Wii in Japan on December 2 and had a target of shipping 1 million units in that market by year end.

Sony started selling the latest version of its blockbuster game console in Japan on November 11 and had also stated plans to ship 1 million units in Japan by the end of December.

• Get your gaming fix in's Vidoe Games Center.

Sony said earlier this week that it met its goal of shipping 1 million PS3 units to North America since its launch there on November 17, but did so by diverting units from Japan.

The electronics maker did not say whether it met its goal of shipping 2 million units combined in the North America and Japan markets by year-end. The Enterbrain data suggests that it probably missed its target.

Sony has had an iron grip over the video game console market with its two previous PlayStation models — combined unit sales of which have reached more than 200 million globally — but its launch of the PS3 was beset by delays.

But Sony said this week that it was on track to ship 6 million PS3 consoles worldwide by the end of March 2007.

Visit's Video Games Center for complete coverage.