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Nintendo dominates in post-holiday Japan

Software and hardware charts virtually monopolised by publisher

Whilst the holiday sales news has largely been focused on Sony and Microsoft in the US and Europe, Nintendo continues to completely dominate the retail market in its home territory, occupying an incredible 80 percent of the top ten for the last week of 2013.

The platform holder is also very much in charge of hardware sales, with the 3DS and Wii U pushing ahead of a field of competitors which has yet to include either the Xbox One or the PS4.

All sales data is courtesy of Famitsu.

Japanese software chart, December 23-29, 2013.

  • 01 (NEW) - The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS) - 225,418
  • 02 (01) - PazuDora Z: Puzzle & Dragons Z (3DS) - 198,968 (1,005,697)
  • 03 (NEW) - Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS3) - 182,638
  • 04 (02) - Pokémon X / Pokémon Y (3DS) - 156,483 (3,976,829)
  • 05 (NEW) - Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster: Twin Pack (PSV) - 134,645
  • 06 (03) - Wii Party U (Wii U) - 87,262 (518,766)
  • 07 (04) - New Super Mario Bros. U (Wii U) - 75,131 (965,794)
  • 08 (07) - Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) - 71,159 (410,041)
  • 09 (08) - Monster Hunter 4 (3DS) - 40,338 (3,293,312)
  • 10 (10) - Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) - 37,300 (4,017,159)

Japanese hardware chart, December 23-29, 2013.

  • 3DS - 208,893 (245,046)
  • WIU - 79,174 (119,159)
  • PSV - 75,207 (49,366)
  • PS3 - 27,020 (23,493)
  • PSP - 9,451 (7,697)
  • WII - 2,719 (2,444)
  • 360 - 770 (607)

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Latest comments (6)

Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 2 years ago
As is typical, Vita games that are high profile and cross-platform tend to sell exceptionally well on the system despite its small fanbase (FFXHD). Further cementing my believe that Vita owners are voracious consumers disproportionate to the size of the userbase. Quite why Japanese developers aren't willing to push it harder (or at least make cross-platform ports of games like Bravely Default) is anyone's guess.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.2 years ago
Shehzaan, looking at the known future release schedule, I'd say Japanese publishers are giving it far more support than the install base should warrant. And the actual attach ratio is no higher for 3rd parties than other home/portable consoles.

I know you were just using Bravely Default as an example but specifically for that series, it is on Nintendo consoles because Nintendo is handling the publishing duties in the west. It's also a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light which was exclusive to the DS.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd2 years ago
@ Shehzaan Vita games tend to give that impression because of very high first week sales, but they have the worst legs of any platform I've ever seen. In fact the sales of the 2 Monster Hunter games on 3DS alone are far more than the entire Vita library has sold.

If you total up all 3DS software in Japan versus Vita software the 3DS has sold roughly 48 million units while Vita has sold roughly 4.5 million units. This puts the 3DS attach rate at about 3.5, and the Vita attach rate below 2.

So the reality is actually kind of the opposite. Realistically, Japanese publishers would be better served developing exclusively on the 3DS if they wanted stronger returns for their investments based on sales by the userbase.(especially considering the cheaper dev costs).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nicholas Pantazis on 6th January 2014 2:39pm

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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster2 years ago
WiiU sold nearly 120,000 units in a single week.
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Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 2 years ago
@ Nicholas That explains it. If you go by first week sales figures when there is something to buy on the Vita it tends to do really well.

Could you explain what the numbers 3.5 and 2 are and how those attach rate figures are derived? (3DS owners on average have 3.5 games?). And do those figure take into account digital sales (IIRC digital sales actually made up the majority of Vita purchases but I don't remember the context of those figures).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shehzaan Abdulla on 6th January 2014 3:34pm

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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd2 years ago
It's as you guessed yes. I derrived those figures from Media Create sales (which are tracked in VChartz's software totals), totaling up total software sold and total hardware sold, then calculating the difference. That attach rate doesn't include digital.

Digital sales are extremely poor on Vita in Japan. Memory cards, despite being priced even cheaper in Japan, do not sell. The 3DS can have as much as 30% of its total sales of big titles on digital, as is the case with Animal Crossing. So it's likely that the attach rate difference is quite a bit larger when you include digital, though it's impossible to get exact numbers as no company releases regular and precise digital sales data.

I can only speculate as to the reasoning for this. I suspect it's a combination of the Vita audience being particularly hardcore "collectors" and thus wanting physical copies and the general rejection of proprietary memory versus the 3DS's readily available and cheap standard SD memory.
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