Japanese Holiday Sales Pt. 4: Which Games Reign Supreme?

May 13, 2011 Written by Heath Hindman

Japanese Sales

The software sales numbers have now come in, complimenting the hardware figures published just recently. So, in this critical Japanese sales period, we’ve so far seen the PSP destroy anything in its path on the hardware charts while the best-selling game for the first part of the May holiday season was a reboot of Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 for DS. Here are the updated game sales figures.

01. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 – Professional (DS)
02. Patapon 3 (PSP)
03. Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 (PSP)
04. Final Promise Story (PSP)
05. Dai-2-Ji Super Robot Wars Z: Hakai-hen (PSP)
06. Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 (PS3)
07. Wii Party (Wii)
08. Pokemon Black / White (DS)
09. Nintendogs + Cats: French Bulldog / Shiba / Toy Poodle & New Friends (3DS)
10. Mario Kart (Wii)
11. Monster Hunter Freedom 3 (PSP)
12. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
13. El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (PS3)
14. Pilotwings Resort (3DS)
15. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing (DS)
16. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
17. Wii Sports Resort (w/ Remote Plus) (Wii)
18. Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection (PSP)
19. Detective Conan: Aoki Houseki no Rinbukyoku (DS)
20. Earth Defence Force 2 Portable (PSP)

So despite all of Final Promise Story‘s well-documented hype and Patapon 3‘s high anticipated among series fans, it was a Dragon Quest re-release with new monsters and a couple of tweaked abilities that ended up topping the charts. It truly is king over here. The PSN Store being inaccessible perhaps put a hurting on some games, and one might reasonably suspect that a large portion of DQ‘s sales can be attributed to the holidays, when children are off school.

For some reason I get the feeling a lot more kids are into Dragon Quest Monsters than a game like Final Promise Story. Heck, I had two students the other day who had never even heard of Final Fantasy. Japanese 10-year-olds, here and now, not having any idea what FF is. I showed them my Japanese box of Final Fantasy XIII and one kid replied “Oh it’s an American game in English. They probably don’t sell it in Japanese stores,” because the title on the sleeve is written in English. He didn’t know what hit him when I flipped it around and he saw all the Japanese on the back. Anyway, it felt almost surreal. Yet, these kids were of course perfectly aware of Dragon Quest and Pokemon.

But back to sales themselves, the PS3 version of El Shaddai has outsold the Xbox 360 version by a margin of about 6-to-1, somewhat common of multiplatform games in this country.

So I’d say, in breaking down the winners and losers of Golden Week, the PSP is easily the champ, having completely dominated both weeks of sales (seriously, check the links below if you haven’t yet, nothing else even came close) in terms of hardware. And even in software, while it didn’t hit the top spot, look at the above chart. The top place isn’t a PSP game, but places 2-5 are, and the system goes on to put seven games in the top 20, which is pretty impressive.

A loser would be the 3DS. Look, I’m not just saying this because I’m writing this for a PlayStation website, let’s just be honest here. The system’s launch had some unfortunate timing what with the tsunami and everything happening so soon after, but now was the time to really get it moving, and it sat in a distant second place the whole time. It doesn’t have the software to compete right now, and it’s becoming obvious. A regular DS game is what topped the charts, and not even a completely original one. Come on now. An original DS game selling so well is great for Nintendo (and the flailing Square Enix), but the 3DS is in what should be its prime, but the girl ain’t moving that way.

Somewhere between a winner and a loser would be PS3. It hung near the top on the hardware charts with some so-so performances, but its software hasn’t been doing well. It’s only got two games in the top 20 sellers this week, compared to five for the Wii and four for the original DS.

In case you missed them, you can check out the previous updates at these links:
Japanese Holiday Sales Pt. 1: Handheld Hardware Domination
Japanese Holiday Sales Pt. 2: The Softer Side of Sales
Japanese Holiday Sales Pt. 3: PSP TKO