Posted by John on August 21, 2011

The Japan Preview: 8/21/11 Edition (PS3 Price Cut, Week 2 of 3DS Cut)

Jacob Mazel, 21 minutes ago, 74 views

Even with the PS3 price cut this week, and the ongoing impact of the 3DS price cut from last week, software sales have fallen to pretty average levels in the wake of the Obon festivities and big releases. Rhythm Heaven, with the dearth of new content, shot back up to number one in the preliminary data since everything else fell much faster - this is the fifth week in a row the title has sold over 50,000 units, after a debut of less than 140,000 units in July.

1) Rhythm Heaven (Wii) - 52,000

2) Chou Jigen Game Neptune Mk-II (PS3) - 44,000

3) MonHun Nikki: Poka Poka Ailu Mura G (PSP) - 38,000

4) Atsumete! Kirby (DS) - 36,000

5) Pokemon Scramble (3DS) - 23,000

6) Growlanser IV: Over Reloaded (PSP) - 21,000

7) Toriko: Gourmet Survival (PSP) - 20,000

8) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS) - 19,000

9) Wii Sports Resort (Wii) - 18,000

10) J-League Pro Soccer Club o Tsukurou! 7 Euro Plus (PSP) - 15,000

13) Disney Epic Mickey (Wii) - 13,000

13) Taiko no Tatsujin Portable DX (PSP) - 13,000

13) Sengoku Basara: Chronicle Heroes (PSP) - 13,000

14) Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011 (PS3) - 12,000

15) Inazuma Eleven Strikers (Wii) - 11,000

In addition to the games above, Nintendogs + Cats (3DS), Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011 (PSP), Uta no * Prince-Sama: Repeat (PSP), One Piece Unlimited Cruise SP (3DS), and Pokemon Black / White (DS) should be amongst the top 20 best selling games of the week as well.

Sony’s long awaited PS3 price cut, a 16% / 5,000 Yen discount, went into effect in Japan late this week, on August 18th. As can be seen from the data above, there doesn’t appear to have been a huge software lift from the price cut, as there was with 3DS last week. Part of the issue here is that after Obon, which was last week, there is typically a 15-20% decline in hardware. A 16% price cut, accompanied by no major titles, for only several days of the week, on older hardware is simply going to push a lot less than what the 40% 3DS price cut did in a holiday week with a big title particularly with the PS3 base 4.5 times larger than the 3DS base. Its not out of the question that PS3 sales will only be around 25,000-30,000 units this week, 25-40% above its pre-Obon sales, especially since many will simply wait until Monster Hunter releases next week. With Monster Hunter and a full week of the price cut, hardware sales should be over 30,000 units per week at least next week, and probably on and off in September and October with the ebb and flow of titles like Tales of Xillia.

Sony’s previous price cut, in 2009, was more like the 3DS cut - accompanied by a major title, a larger 10,000 Yen price drop overall, in addition to being accompanied by the PS3 Slim. The PS3 baseline is higher than in 2009, so the cut will push quite a bit of hardware, but PS3 sold 1.25m in the four months from September - December 2009 in Japan, so its highly unlikely the current cut and games will push PS3 to similar figures when Sony has sold just 10% more PS3s than that over the entirety of the last year (1.37m PS3s were sold in the year ending August 13, 2011 in Japan).

The impact of the 3DS price cut also looks like it has diminished a fair bit this week. A fall off of at least 50,000 units from last week seems all but assured for the following reasons: Pokemon Scramble has died off, Obon has ended, and the 20% of sales last week were simply pent up demand from the two weeks between the announcement of the price cut and the cut itself. 3DS hardware should still easily be in the six-digit range for the week though, at anywhere from three to six times the baseline level achieved before the price cut. After selling around 100,000 units next week, 3DS should begin to decline much more slowly, and settle at anywhere between 40,000 - 80,000 units per week until major titles and / or late November arrive at which point 3DS sales will sky-rocket again.

As far as upcoming weeks look, the big titles in the near term remain Tales of Xillia (PS3) which should open to at least 300,000 units in its launch week in September, Monster Hunter Portable 3 HD Edition (PS3) which will have around 90,000 preorders at its launch in a few days, leading to an opening week of around 150,000 units, and finally Dragon Quest Collection (Wii) which should open to 150,000 - 200,000 units week one in mid-September.

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