Posted by John on December 26, 2011

The Japan Preview: 12/25/11 Edition (Six Games top 100k)

Jacob Mazel, 11 hours ago, 1,875 views

Software sales in Japan were once again rather incredible this week, and even grew slightly from last week. Wii, 3DS, and PS3 each had several games selling very respectable non-launch numbers, and even the rapidly deteriorating DS and PSP markets had significant software sales for the week. The most notable figures for the week are those that didn’t show - Vita software will likely not crack the top 20 this week, as the top 15 cuts off at about 55,000, and it doesn’t look any Vita games sold more than 30,000 units this week.

1) Mario Kart 7 (3DS) - 275,000

2) Musou Orochi 2 (PS3) - 182,000

3) Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) - 174,000

4) Monster Hunter Portable 3G (3DS) - 143,000

5) Kirby’s Return to Dreamland (Wii) - 136,000

6) Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3) - 120,000

7) Inazuma Eleven Go Shine / Dark (3DS) - 83,000

8) Just Dance Wii (Wii) - 79,000

9) Inazuma Eleven 2012 Strikers Extreme (Wii) - 73,000

10) Magician’s Quest: Oshare na Mahou Tsukai (DS) - 68,000

11) One Piece: Gigant Battle 2 - Shinseka (DS) - 63,000

13) Pokepark 2 (Wii) - 62,000

13) SD Gundam G Generation 3D (3DS) - 62,000

14) Mario Sonic at the London Olympics (Wii) - 58,000

15) Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Ketteiban (Wii) - 56,000

In addition to the games above, Wii Party (Wii), Wii Sports Resort (Wii), Mario Kart Wii (Wii), Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011 Ketteiban (PSP), and Mahou Shoujo Nanoha A’s Portable: The Gears of Destiny (PSP) should all be in the final top 20. This week could easily have 30-40 games over 20,000 units in Japan though - so its important to recognize that games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3), Rhythm Heaven (Wii), Nintendogs + Cats (3DS), Hot Shots Golf (Vita) and several others that likely missed the top 20 still sold very well this week.

Six games sold over 100,000 units this week in Japan - that’s a pretty rare event. The last time it happened was during the December 19, 2010 week, when Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii), Shining Hearts (PSP), Monster Hunter Portable 3 (PSP), Gundam Musou 3 (PS3), Inazuma Eleven 3: Ogre (DS), and Pokemon Black / White (DS) each topped 100,000 units. Prior to that, you have to go all the way back to the December 27, 2009 week when New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii), Wii Fit Plus (Wii), Tamodatchi Collection (DS), Pokemon Heart Gold / Soul Silver (DS), Zelda no Densetsu: Taiyou no Kiteki (DS), and Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) each topped 100,000 units.

During this past week, the reason six games topped 100,000 units is the same reason it has happened in the past. Late in December major recent hits that are essential experiences on a platform with a large base rise quite a bit. At the same time, major new titles release as well. Kirby, Just Dance, Pokepark 2, Taiko, One Piece, and Magician’s Quest are all from established essential franchises on Wii and DS. The same is true for the more recently released Mario Kart, and Mario Land titles on 3DS - and even Monster Hunter for 3DS declined pretty marginally this week for a major RPG. PS3, PSP, and apparently Vita follow a bit of a different pattern, as people immediately know what they want to buy on the platforms and can rarely be convinced to try games they were not interested in buying initially, which is why major software rarely rises substantially in December and January for these platforms. Kirby and Just Dance in contrast to the games on Sony systems have nearly returned to equalling their launch week sales this week which is pretty incredible given both games have been available for a couple months now.

Several new games opened well this week too. Musou Orochi 2 opened to typical numbers for the franchise, the new Inazuma Eleven on Wii just about mirrored the original from July, and SD Gundam opened to decent figures on 3DS. Final Fantasy XIII-2 had a big drop, although not nearly as big a drop on a percentage basis as Final Fantasy XIII. XIII-2 did 22% of its week one figures in week two, XIII did 13% of its week one figures in week two. That said, it is still hard to imagine Final Fantasy XIII-2 getting to even half the number Final Fantasy XIII reached in Japan and it was reported last week that Square-Enix shipped only 850,000 units of Final Fantasy XIII-2 to Japan at launch, which could be the lifetime shipment.

Hardware sales for this week should be quite good - Wii, DS, 3DS, PSP, PS2, and X360 should all be up a bit. The lack of Vita software from the preliminary data does suggest hardware dropped off a bit. PS3 may not be up either, as Final Fantasy XIII-2 provided a modest boost last week. Total Japanese hardware sales reached 9.3m in 2010, and those figures should be topped in 2011 rather easily as there will be at least 600,000 Wiis + PS3s + 3DS systems + Vitas will be sold for the week and 8.7m systems had been sold in Japan through the December 18th. Hardware figures for the year should reach just about 10m in 2011, up around 10% from 2010 - a major contrast to the Western markets which will see a major decline in hardware sales this year. Software sales in Japan will be down by millions of units in 2011 compared to 2010, but a recovery should begin in 2012 as 3DS and Vita become large software markets.

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