The launch of Sega's long-awaited "Virtual Fighter 5" for the PlayStation 3 gave the console its biggest hit of the year so far, according to figures released on Friday.

The title launched on February 8 and topped the Japan software charts for that week with sales of almost 50,000 copies, according to data from Media Create. Its launch was also likely one of the reasons behind a jump in sales of the console during the week of February 5 to 11, to 23,431 units from 18,727 units in the previous week.

Media Create receives actual sales data from around 3,000 stores across Japan and uses that to estimate nationwide sales.

Sales of Nintendo's Wii also jumped and stood at 78,550 units for the week, according to the estimates. Once again Nintendo's handheld DS Lite device topped the hardware sales ranking at 201,770 units. Its nearest competitor, the Sony Computer Entertainment. PlayStation Portable, managed sales of 32,175 units, according to Media Create.

Software titles for new-generation consoles occupied the top three positions for the week. After "Virtual Fighter 5" at number one was "Wii Sports" and "Wii Play" in second and third place, respectively.