A recent poll from the magazine Famitsu showed staggering changes in how the Japanese view the final contenders in the new generation of consoles. Basically, 23% of their readers thought the PS3 would win the day, while 70% were certain the Wii would "win" (a vaguely defined term if ever there was one).
To better understand that this is more than your average poll, understand that Famitsu is the behemoth of gaming magazines in Japan. Japan is a nation without video game rentals as they are actually outlawed. As such, the gamers of Japan look to magazines to tell them which games are and aren't worth buying. Put two and two together, and you begin to realize that this is akin to the authority National Geographic has on geography.
This same poll also places 88.6% of Famitsu's readers in the category "Thinks PS3 price is too expensive".
There have been other polls which have different things to say about the state of the gaming populace in Japan. However, the level of dedication to gaming in these polls is not reflective of the fervent interest Famitsu readers have. They are the "hardcore" gamers in Japan, which makes the Famitsu poll so disturbing if you're sitting in the Sony camp.
A fundamental piece of knowledge concerning the goals of the three major companies has been their target audiences. Nintendo was going for the casual and not-a-gamer crowds, while Microsoft and Sony duked it out over the hardcore gamers. This was never questioned or refuted, because it is largely true. The only additional information to add is that neither Sony nor Microsoft would begrudge casual gamers buying their systems, and Microsoft is taking some small steps towards courting that crowd as well.
As such, it is shocking that the Famitsu readers are favoring the Wii by such a large margin. They are the "hardcore" that Sony was counting on to carry them this new generation. Yet, 70% of them think that the Wii will win, and nearly 90% are agast at the PS3's price.
Conclude from that what you wiill.