Japanese software sales increased a bit this week due to the timing of the calendar, as holiday gift shopping resumed after a break last week.
1) Mario Kart 7 (3DS) - 181,000
2) Monster Hunter Portable 3G (3DS) - 110,000
3) Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) - 97,000
4) Inazuma Eleven Go Shine / Dark (3DS) - 71,000
5) Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3) - 57,000
6) Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Ketteiban (Wii) - 43,000
7) Just Dance Wii (Wii) - 39,000
9) Kirby's Return to Dreamland (Wii) - 28,000
9) Magician's Quest: Oshare na Mahou Tsukai (DS) - 28,000
10) Mario Kart Wii (Wii) - 25,000
11) Atsumete! Kirby (DS) - 22,000
12) Mario & Sonic at the London Olympics (Wii) - 21,000
13) Rhythm Heaven Wii (Wii) - 19,000
15) One Piece: Gigant Battle 2 - Shinseka (DS) - 17,000
15) Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011 Ketteiban (PSP) - 17,000
In addition to the games above, a Vita game or two, Go Vacation (Wii), Monster Hunter Portable 3 (PSP), Wii Sports Resort (Wii), and Wii Party (Wii) should end up in the final top 20 data.
After looking closely at the data, it now looks like January 2nd is one of the biggest shopping days of the year in Japan, which is why software grew this week in 2012 but shrank in the nearly comparable week in 2011 (there were no major game releases either week to muddle the comparison). 3DS software in particular lifted quite a bit, as DS software did when January 2nd was in the first full week of the new year half a decade ago. With software up as much as it is likely that some hardware also grew 5-15% from last week for some platforms, although Vita, PS2, X360 and PS3 could all be flat or down a bit with only six or seven games currently selling above 10,000 units for those four platforms combined at the moment.
Following the brief respite of this week, the next few weeks will see ongoing declines for all platforms in Japan until 'Spring' seasonality takes over. 'Spring' seasonality in Japan is essentially the period between late January and Golden Week, roughly February to April. It looks like February to April should be very quiet in 2012 - combined PS3 + Wii + X360 + PS2 weekly sales rates in that period of 2011 amounted to 40,000 consoles sold per week. The total should be even lower in February to April 2012, mainly because if Final Fantasy XIII-2 didn't push much hardware, the numerous smaller sequels PS3 is getting this year will help even less. Wii / PS2 / X360 may fall to 10,000 units per week combined during some weeks in February to April 2012, barring an early Dragon Quest X release or price cut(s).
3DS will carry quite a bit of strength into at least early 2012, although weekly PSP + DS + 3DS sales in February to April 2011 averaged an amazing 142,000 or so per week (due to the 3DS launch) and so portable hardware weekly sales rates will likely drop in February to April too. Portable hardware will of course continue to dramatically outsell consoles in Japan, even if it does drop a bit from the pace in early 2011 over the next few months. Past April, when 3DS numbers dropped substantially until August during 2011, hardware should be up quite a bit in 2012 from 2011, especially if Vita gets any kind of software infusion after what is likely to be a weak first half to 2012.
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