The Japan Preview: 1/22/12 Edition (SW Slows Further, 3DS Leads)

by Jacob Mazel, posted on 22 January 2012 / 5,375 Views

Holiday seasonality is just about over now in Japan. Software dropped off quite a bit once again in lieu of that reality, and hardware should continue to decline until the next wave of big games or price cuts arrives. Nothing in the immediate future will reverse the continuing fall off from holiday highs though. Even so, 2012 is off to a much better start than 2011 in Japan.

1) Monster Hunter Portable 3G (3DS) - 34,000

2) Mario Kart 7 (3DS) - 32,000

3) Super Mario 3DLand (3DS) - 25,000

4) Rhythm Kaitou R: Koutei Napoleon no Isan (3DS) - 20,000

5) Inazuma Eleven Go Shine / Dark (3DS) - 16,000

6) Onechanbara Z: Kagura (X360...not a typo) - 13,000

9) Labyrinth no Kanata (3DS) - 12,000

9) Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Masou Kishin II - Revelation of Evil God (PSP) - 12,000

9) Heroes of Phantasia (PSP) - 12,000

10) Monster Hunter Portable 3 (PSP) - 10,000

11) Musou Orochi 2 (PS3) - 9,000

13) Go Vacation (Wii) - 7,000

13) Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3) - 7,000

15) Just Dance Wii (Wii) - 5,000

15) Danball Senki (PSP) - 5,000

In addition to the games above, Wii Party (Wii), Wii Sports Resort (Wii), Kirby's Return to Dreamland (Wii), Hot Shots Golf (Vita), and Nintendogs + Cats (3DS) are likely to chart in the final top 20 data for the week.

Software sales this week are notable for how poor console software is selling at a point in the year that is still a relatively strong selling season. This is the first time since the week to May 22, 2011 that Wii & PS3 lacked even one title top 10,000 units for the week in Japan. It certainly doesn't bode well for those markets over the course of 2012, as the lack of a 10,000+ level hit occured only once in all of 2011. The X360 did have a title top 10,000 units this week. Even with the X360 title though, no console games topped 15,000 units for the week in Japan, which is still very rare for the Japanese market. I haven't checked the data all the way back, but this might be only the second time since 2006 that both Wii and PS3 lacked a 10,000+ hit in the same week in Japan. Software releases are definitely slowing for the consoles though, so we're likely to see quite a few of these dead-console software weeks in 2012 even though there are still at least a handfull of major titles (100k+) opening for Wii and PS3 this year (Mario Party, Armored Core, Dragon Quest, Soccer & Baseball games for PS3, etc are all announced for 2012).

The other big trend to watch this week is where hardware stabilizes. Figures this week should more or less reflect the next two to three months in Japan for 3DS and Vita. The Vita figure is particularly important, because with PSP software slowing, Vita software still tiny, and PS3 software slowing, Sony's Japanese business model is in a bit of trouble. If there isn't some kind of big correction relatively soon, they'll face increasing pressure to release PS4 earlier than they desire. The fact that PS3 is doing well for software outside of Japan at the moment doesn't change the reality in Japan - particularly as the foreign offices of Sony get to keep much of their revenue and profit for their respective territories, while Japan has to earn much of its own. Nintendo is actually in the opposite position right now, on the upswing in Japan and declining still in the West, since 3DS figures are excellent in Japan now, while Wii and DS had declined a year earlier in Japan than elsewhere. Sony has actually sold quite a bit more hardware in Japan in 2012 than in 2011 through two weeks, but that is mainly due to PSP supply issues in early 2011 and the fact that the January 2, 2012 gift giving holiday was tracked in 2012, while January 2, 2011 was tracked for 2010. Vita will have to correct in a hurry for hardware and software to be better for Sony in 2012 than in 2011 in Japan, as it isn't out of the question that Vita + PSP hardware sales will come to 10-20% less than PSP hardware sales (alone) in early 2011 over the next few months.

Contact VGChartz at jmazel@vgchartz.com


More Articles

23 Comments

Carl2291 (on 22 January 2012)

Not a typo... I giggled :)


  • -6
Galvanizer (on 22 January 2012)

Looks like FF13-2 will not sell 1 million in Japan. The main series FF brand is not as strong as it used to be due to all the spin-offs and remakes.


Zim (on 22 January 2012)

The main series has been on a rather amazingly consistent slide in Japan since 7/8. All in millions it goes 3.28 to 3.63 to 2.78 to 2.73 to 2.11 (Sequel) to 2.33 to 1.87. It's kinda crazy to think 13 sold almost half as much as 8.

However 13-2 being a sequel to a mixed reception game and the worst selling in the main series in the 3d era doesn't help. Will be very interesting to see what happens when we get FF15.


  • +4
happydolphin (on 22 January 2012)

If Vita doesn't fly in Japan in 2012 as the article suggests, there will be a lot of pressure for Sony to make the PS4 a compensatory success at launch.


DemoniOtaku (on 23 January 2012)

But Sony still have until late 2013 to make Vita a Succes, that's almost two years... They aren't pressured at all..


  • -2
happydolphin (on 23 January 2012)

You have a point. An extra year does make a difference. Then again, the pressure might be that it even launch a little sooner, adding weight to my POV. It gets more variable as Vita's success dwindles if it does. (All hypothetical here) If Vita surges in late 2012, all is back to normal and my setback is put to rest.


  • 0
binary solo (on 23 January 2012)

360 might get a boost. Last week 1300, this week might jump all the way up to 2000, or at least over 1500. Might buck the falling hardware trend.


pezus (on 23 January 2012)

360 sales going through the roof! :-D


  • +1
NintendoPie (on 22 January 2012)

MH takes #1 spot this week, very nice. 3DS is still doing well and I love your X360 comment XD


VGKing (on 22 January 2012)

"6) Onechanbara Z: Kagura (X360...not a typo) - 13,000" I LOLed. Very impressive though!


spurgeonryan (on 22 January 2012)

Lol, I like your 360 comment. Although that is good to see over there with all the bad 360 news we have seen in Japan this year.


Millenium (on 22 January 2012)

A large % of Japan definitely has switched over to handhelds. Hope at least 1 Vita game can end up in the top 20.


room414 (on 23 January 2012)

"because with PSP software slowing, Vita software still tiny, and PS3 software slowing, Sony's Japanese business model is in a bit of trouble" upcoming ps3 releases:http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps3/releases/region-2 upcoming psp releases:http://www.gamefaqs.com/psp/releases/region-2 "Nintendo is actually in the opposite position right now, on the upswing in Japan" upcoming wii releases:http://www.gamefaqs.com/wii/releases/region-2 upcoming 3ds releases:http://www.gamefaqs.com/3ds/releases/region-2


DemoniOtaku (on 23 January 2012)

And is Just that 3DS is in its momentum and Wii some puntual games on Wii that sold because of the Holidays... PSP is making good in japan and will do until Vita gear up.. and PS3 with its sporadic Hits is doing fine...


  • 0
kowenicki (on 23 January 2012)

Very good summary of the Sony Japan situation.


goldeneye0074eva2222 (on 22 January 2012)

This article tells the truth Sony should be very weary they need games. Nintendo had the same problem. and answered quick ,. lets see how sony reacts after the 2nd month us sales if they are less then satisfactory then Sony should look into somthing like getting exclusive 3rd party games-it worked for them in the ps1 and ps2 eras, so why shouldn't it work now


Panama (on 23 January 2012)

They sure like their Mario and Monster hunter. Hell portable 3 on PSP is still selling well.


ryuzaki57 (on 23 January 2012)

Labyrinth no Kanata opens really low... and I thought it as one of the biggest 3DS games! New entries on 3DS have a hard time selling.


Pokemonbrawlvg (on 23 January 2012)

Wait a second... wasn't WipEout 2048 suppose to come out this week? If the lowest sale on here is 5,000, then i'm afraid the new WipEout bombed like nobody even gave it a second glance. I came out on the 19th, right? That's three days in sales.


hiska-kun (on 23 January 2012)

Yeah, it came out the 19th. But it's four days in sales, 'cause sunday counts too in Japan. Onechanbara, BtL and Rhythm Kaitou R also had 4 days. So guess it bombed.


  • 0
Aj_habfan (on 23 January 2012)

Who woulda thunk it, an unpopular series doing poorly on an unpopular device


  • 0
menx64 (on 25 January 2012)

very accurate preview! Keep the good job guys!


Michael-5 (on 24 January 2012)

Considering PS3 outsold 360 by 27k last week, even if PS3 dropped 10k, it looks like PS3 and 360 will be repeating a similar year in terms of sales (weekly gaps) as in 2011.


mateuspradosousa (on 23 January 2012)

XIII-2 will see its redemptin on West sales for sure


ryuzaki57 (on 23 January 2012)

Redemption for what!? It's the second-best selling PS3 game in Japan!


  • 0
Salnax (on 23 January 2012)

Disappointing sales for the new 3DS titles.


dividePower (on 23 January 2012)

Wow @ the Xbox 360 title, and not even a single PS3 title in the top ten? That's weird.


binary solo (on 23 January 2012)

7000 for FFXIII-2 is like selling 18K in the USA. Also, if it ends up being over 7K it's basically the same sales as FFXIII's wk2 in Japan. So, not bad legs considering almost 1/3 sales at launch.


RolStoppable (on 22 January 2012)

Onechanbara deserves its spot. Best hack'n'slash series on the market and no, I am not joking. I wish this would come to the Wii too.


NintendoPie (on 22 January 2012)

It is on the Wii.


  • 0
RolStoppable (on 22 January 2012)

I meant this new entry into the series.


  • 0
pezus (on 23 January 2012)

Best bikini hack and slash game more like it


  • 0
MANUELF (on 22 January 2012)

I dont believe a vita gane being no new release can crack the top 20, the hardware is way too low in a weekly basis for that to happen and last week it sold only 17k and hot shots sold 7k


MANUELF (on 26 January 2012)

To those who thumbed me down, stop being fanboys and accept reality, I was right


  • 0
Christian973 (on 22 January 2012)

Why doesn't Sony just dropped this portable shit and focus on it's next console. The PS4 is really in trouble with how much Microsoft have damaged the PlayStation brand.


Salnax (on 23 January 2012)

Because the PSP is the best selling non-Nintendo portable of all time. Because it had 48 million sellers, many of them from Western games. Because it singlehandedly popularized Japan's new 2nd biggest RPG series.


  • +3
happydolphin (on 23 January 2012)

To have a handheld and a home console helps the manufacturer in ways that far outway the costs. Benefits include:

1) Launch tests. The launch failures are lessons learnt for the launch of the home version, and vice versa.

2) Backup to failure of counterpart. If the home console struggles, the portable can help support it, and vice versa.

3) It broadens market reach. Where the home console can't reach a target audience, the portable can, and vice versa.

... and many more.

However if both fail, you're in double trouble. Nobody wants that to happen.


  • 0
happydolphin (on 23 January 2012)

Valid question though, I thumbed you back up.


  • 0