Microsoft's Xbox 360 console sold just under 44,000 units in its first two days on sale in Japan, a market research company said Friday.

The Xbox 360 was launched in Japan on December 10, and Media Create, which collects data from point-of-sales systems at major retailers, estimated weekend sales totalled 43,970 units. Software sales were 47,191 units, it said. That compares unfavorably to the 2002 launch of the original Xbox console which attracted sales of 106,867 consoles and 156,601 units of software at launch, said Media Create.

The company said the initial software line-up and particularly the postponed launch of Dead or Alive 4 affected opening weekend results. The console launched with six software titles. Media Create said it expects hardware sales to grow significantly once DOA4 is available. The software will be released on December 29, according to maker Tecmo Ltd.

The sales data was provided in Media Create's weekly game hardware and software ranking, which covered the period from December 5 to December 11.

For the week Sony's PlayStation 2 sold 45,893 units. In the handheld gaming space Nintendo's Nintendo DS sold 299,328 units and Sony's PlayStation Portable sold 86,403 units.