After a couple of months of trailing the PSP some strong software releases have propelled the 3DS back to number one. Both Resident Evil The Mercenaries and Tales Of The Abyss seem to have had a modest effect on sales of the 3DS but it was of course The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time that gave the 3DS its biggest boost during June.
It will be interesting to see whether the 3DS can maintain that strength of sales in the coming months as Sony’s focus will surely drift towards the forthcoming PS Vita. Software will obviously continue to be the key driver of sales and July sees two more ‘big name’ releases for the 3DS in Japan.
Starfox 64 3D is the first of those, due on the 14th with Super Pokémon Rumble following two weeks later. Rather than a ‘normal’ Pokémon game though this is a full retail 3DS version of the WiiWare title Pokémon Rumble with added content and features.
As such, and bearing in mind the relatively small installed base for the 3DS, it is unlikely to record the kind of sales we are used to seeing for Pokémon games. It is also more ammunition for those critical of the 3DS’ software line-up which contains a number of retail games that seem lacking in content, such as Steel Diver.
For its part Sony obviously is keen to have the PSP’s Japanese renaissance, that began with the release of Monster Hunter at the end of last year, continue for as long as possible. At the end of June they announced three new PSP bundles releasing at the end of July. These ‘Value Packs’ bundle a pouch, 2GB Memory Stick and a small coordinating handkerchief together with the PSP (plus its battery and AC adapter).
One console we rarely talk about with regard to its Japanese sales, unless they happen to be notably poor one month, is the Xbox 360. It is the perennial underdog as far as the sales of this generation’s home consoles sometimes even falling behind the PS2.
It is worth a special mention this month though as depending on whose sales figures you choose to believe, it has either just reached the 1.5 million sales mark or is getting pretty close to it (1.47m). Even if the lower figure is true, it should pass 1.5m in the next three months or so.
You can't accuse Japanese retailers of not doing all they can to appeal to Japanese gamers with their Xbox 360 adverts.
Japanese Kinect sales are around the 100,000 point making the ratio of Kinect sales to 360 sales about 1 to 15. The last global figures we had from Microsoft put the worldwide ratio of Kinect to 360 sales at roughly 1 to 5 (53.6m 360’s vs. 10.4m Kinects) which handily demonstrates its relative lack of success in Japan.
Xbox 360 software titles are also consistently infrequent visitors to the software charts and even when they do make the top ten it is normally a week with few other new releases or one that is quiet in terms of general sales levels.
Consider the three that made top ten appearances during June. First up was Phantom Breaker, a 2D fighting game, that made it to number six in the week ending June 5th, with almost 10,000 sales. It was 3 places and over 1,000 sales behind the DS Pokémon typing tutor software that has been on sale for over a month.
Two weeks later Steins; Gate Hiyoku Renri no Darling released with comparatively strong first week sales of almost 32,000 sales enough to see it take fourth spot. Adding the sales of the Double Pack edition (11,000 sales and fifth spot) that includes it and the original Steins; Gate game, would not have lifted it any higher in that week’s chart but makes it the most successful 360 release I can remember this year.
For those of you who, like me before I wrote this post, have no idea what Steins; Gate is, it is a visual novel-style adventure game. The new release is a spin-off of the original and “features an all new scenario with the the Steins;Gate characters, but different from the serious nature of the source material the story here will be “sweet” and will have love elements”. [Be warned that that link contains the obligatory compromising shower scene image that fits somewhere between The 3rd Birthday and Heavy Rain in its revealing nature. None of those are suitable for work viewing.]
That is enough about the Xbox 360 for now. Next month, unless anything really unexpected happens, normal service will be resumed and it will be either broadly ignored or gently ridiculed for its under-performance in the software charts. Speaking of which…
Week Ending June 5th
- Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D (3DS) 58,792 New Entry
- One Piece Unlimited Cruise Special (3DS) 16,753
- Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS) 11,014
- Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional (DS) 10,729
- Troy Musou (PS3) 10,306
- Phantom Breaker (360) 9,960 New Entry
- Akiba’s Trip (PSP) 9,222
- Pandora’s Tower (Wii) 8,436
- Patapon 3 (PSP) 7,018
- Nobunaga no Yabou Tendou with Power Up Kit (PS3) 6,390
Week Ending June 12th
- Yakuza Of The End (PS3) 298,717 New Entry
- Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D (3DS) 15,551
- Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS) 11,421
- Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional (DS) 10,526
- One Piece Unlimited Cruise Special (3DS) 8,384
- Gekiatsu!! Pachige Tamashii Portable Vol.1 Evangelion Shinjitsu no Tsubasa (PSP) 6,808 New Entry
- Wii Party (Wii) 6,243
- Akiba’s Trip (PSP) 5,523
- Red Faction Armageddon (PS3) 5,436 New Entry
- Patapon 3 (PSP) 5,306
Week Ending June 19th
- Little Battle eXperience (PSP) 166,187 New Entry
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS) 164,110 New Entry
- Yakuza Of The End (PS3) 53,775
- Steins; Gate Hiyoku Renri no Darling (360) 31,666 New Entry
- Steins; Gate Double Pack (360) 11,041 New Entry
- Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D (3DS) 9,062
- Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional (DS) 7,997
- Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS) 6,609
- Wii Party (Wii) 6,556
- One Piece Unlimited Cruise Special (3DS) 6,549
Week Ending June 26th
- Atelier Meruru: Alchemist of Arland 3 (PS3) 82,585 New Entry
- Steins; Gate (PSP) 63,558 New Entry
- Gundam Memories: Memories of the Battle (PSP) 52,067 New Entry
- Little Battle eXperience (PSP) 38,326
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS) 37,452
- Tennis no Oujisama Gyutto! Doki Doki Survival Umi to Yama no Love Passion (DS) 30,234 New Entry
- Yakuza Of The End (PS3) 24,247
- Bleach Soul Ignition (PS3) 23,516 New Entry
- Wii Sports Resort (Wii Remote Plus Pack) (Wii) 9,874
- Gloria Union (PSP) 8,933
Week Ending July 3rd
- Tales of the Abyss (3DS) 74,173 New Entry
- Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (PS3) 54,924 New Entry
- To Heart 2 Dungeon Travelers (PSP) 37,396 New Entry
- Golden Eye 007 (Wii) 36,174
- Little Battle eXperience (PSP) 24,471
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time 3D (3DS) 24,190
- Atelier Meruru: Alchemist of Arland 3 (PS3) 23,756
- Steins; Gate (PSP) 21,830
- Mashiroiro Symphony Mutsu-no-Hana (PSP) 17,897 New Entry
- Test Drive Unlimited 2 (PS3) 15,254
The Monthly Console and Corporate Fights
I am not sure which American divisions of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo you think won the recent round of combat at this year’s E3. For me, Sony probably just about edged it, if only because Nintendo stumbled somewhat by not being clear that the Wii U is a new console.
Approximately 5,471 miles away on the opposite side of the Pacific the monthly fight ended up like this in June: the PS3, as has become a regular occurrence, beat the Wii by more than two to one (93,129 vs. 41,284) and Nintendo’s handheld consoles beat Sony’s (202,271 vs. 147,830).
Overall shares of the month’s console unit sales just gave Sony the largest slice of juicy pie by less than one percent. Out of the 503,073 consoles sold Sony can take the credit for 49.2% (247,378), Nintendo 48.4% (243,555) and Microsoft 2.4% (12,140).
Source: Media Create