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Opinion

Japan: 3DS Top-Selling Console In June

Not by much, but it's a start.

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.
Whereas Kinect has been at least partly responsible for the 360′s renewed sales vigour in Western markets it was always going to be a much harder sell in Japan where rooms tend to be around the size of the average American walk-in wardrobe; as Dan attests some Kinect games are a bit of a struggle to play even with seven or eight feet of clear space in front of your TV.

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

  1. Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D (3DS) 58,792 New Entry
  2. One Piece Unlimited Cruise Special (3DS) 16,753
  3. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS) 11,014
  4. Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional (DS) 10,729
  5. Troy Musou (PS3) 10,306
  6. Phantom Breaker (360) 9,960 New Entry
  7. Akiba’s Trip (PSP) 9,222
  8. Pandora’s Tower (Wii) 8,436
  9. Patapon 3 (PSP) 7,018
  10. Nobunaga no Yabou Tendou with Power Up Kit (PS3) 6,390

Week Ending June 12th

  1. Yakuza Of The End (PS3) 298,717 New Entry
  2. Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D (3DS) 15,551
  3. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS) 11,421
  4. Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional (DS) 10,526
  5. One Piece Unlimited Cruise Special (3DS) 8,384
  6. Gekiatsu!! Pachige Tamashii Portable Vol.1 Evangelion Shinjitsu no Tsubasa (PSP) 6,808 New Entry
  7. Wii Party (Wii) 6,243
  8. Akiba’s Trip (PSP) 5,523
  9. Red Faction Armageddon (PS3) 5,436 New Entry
  10. Patapon 3 (PSP) 5,306

Week Ending June 19th

  1. Little Battle eXperience (PSP) 166,187 New Entry
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS) 164,110 New Entry
  3. Yakuza Of The End (PS3) 53,775
  4. Steins; Gate Hiyoku Renri no Darling (360) 31,666 New Entry
  5. Steins; Gate Double Pack (360) 11,041 New Entry
  6. Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D (3DS) 9,062
  7. Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 Professional (DS) 7,997
  8. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS) 6,609
  9. Wii Party (Wii) 6,556
  10. One Piece Unlimited Cruise Special (3DS) 6,549

Week Ending June 26th

  1. Atelier Meruru: Alchemist of Arland 3 (PS3) 82,585 New Entry
  2. Steins; Gate (PSP) 63,558 New Entry
  3. Gundam Memories: Memories of the Battle (PSP) 52,067 New Entry
  4. Little Battle eXperience (PSP) 38,326
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS) 37,452
  6. Tennis no Oujisama Gyutto! Doki Doki Survival Umi to Yama no Love Passion (DS) 30,234 New Entry
  7. Yakuza Of The End (PS3) 24,247
  8. Bleach Soul Ignition (PS3) 23,516 New Entry
  9. Wii Sports Resort (Wii Remote Plus Pack) (Wii) 9,874
  10. Gloria Union (PSP) 8,933

Week Ending July 3rd

  1. Tales of the Abyss (3DS) 74,173 New Entry
  2. Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (PS3) 54,924 New Entry
  3. To Heart 2 Dungeon Travelers (PSP) 37,396 New Entry
  4. Golden Eye 007 (Wii) 36,174
  5. Little Battle eXperience (PSP) 24,471
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time 3D (3DS) 24,190
  7. Atelier Meruru: Alchemist of Arland 3 (PS3) 23,756
  8. Steins; Gate (PSP) 21,830
  9. Mashiroiro Symphony Mutsu-no-Hana (PSP) 17,897 New Entry
  10. 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

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11 Comments
  1. nofi
    One for all.
    Since: Forever

    Crikey, not my much at all. PSP still going strong too, eh?

    Comment posted on 10/07/2011 at 21:13.
  2. Peter Rushton
    Member
    Since: Aug 2010

    Wow, the PSP Go sold 7 units in 1 week!?

    Comment posted on 10/07/2011 at 21:16.
    • Watchful
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Oct 2008

      It’s been discontinued in Japan. It’s just left-ever stock selling through.

      Comment posted on 10/07/2011 at 21:24.
    • david
      Member
      Since: Feb 2011

      and in that same week the standard psp sold nearly 30,000, it really shows how much the Japanese hated it.

      Comment posted on 10/07/2011 at 21:26.
  3. a inferior race
    I'm special
    Since: Jul 2009

    Loving the xbox advert.

    Comment posted on 10/07/2011 at 21:59.
  4. Kitch
    Member
    Since: Aug 2008

    Nofi, would it be possible to add a +1 button?

    Comment posted on 10/07/2011 at 22:49.
  5. Awayze
    Member
    Since: Jul 2010

    Wow PSP still selling in Japan.
    Nintendo Wii sales are slowing down I see.

    Comment posted on 11/07/2011 at 06:31.
    • Watchful
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Oct 2008

      Even though they went up every week? :)

      They’ve been at roughly that level relative to the PS3 for a while now. June and July are also generally the quietest months for sales in Japan. They key thing is whether and how much its sales pick up compared to the other consoles in August.

      Comment posted on 11/07/2011 at 07:17.
  6. enroene
    Member
    Since: Nov 2010

    The fact that the PSP is still selling well goes to show that good software is as important as good hardware,esp the former.Wii still selling the same software year after year.

    Comment posted on 11/07/2011 at 07:41.
  7. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    mmmm, pie. ^_^

    anyway.

    i’m kinda surprised the psp sales aren’t dropping off slightly with the vita around the corner.

    Comment posted on 11/07/2011 at 08:09.

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