3DS eclipses Wii lifetime sales in Japan

Platform also hosts 12 of this week's top 20

The 3DS has passed the Wii's lifetime sales total in Japan, hitting a career sales to date of 12,752,731 compared to the Wii's 12,698,878. With the 3DS still crushing the domestic handheld market and the Wii U struggling to make any impact, it looks like the 3DS will hold that crown for some time to come.

The figures, from Japanese sales tracking group Media Create, also show that the 3DS is utterly dominating the software chart, accounting for an incredible 60 per cent of the top twenty. Famitsu's own sales figures give 15 of the top thirty selling games to the system.

Still buoyed by the incredible sales figures of Monster Hunter 4, the 3DS sold 159,388 units this week, an incredible portion of the 187,773 units of hardware sold across all platforms. Its closest rival remains the PS3, which managed 10,749 sales.

Media Create Sales: Week 38, 2013 (Sep 16 - Sep 22)

  • 01. [3DS] Monster Hunter 4
  • 02. [PSV] Yahari Game Demo Ore no Seishun Love-Kome Hamachi Gatteiru
  • 03. [PS3] Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Real Reborn
  • 04. [3DS] Friend Collection: New Life
  • 05. [3DS] Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
  • 06. [3DS] Disney Magic Castle: My Happy Life
  • 07. [3DS] Nobunaga's Ambition
  • 08. [3DS] Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • 09. [3DS] Youkai Watch
  • 10. [PSP] La Corda d'Oro 3: Full Voice Special
  • 11. [PSP] Brothers Conflict: Brilliant Blue
  • 12. [PS3] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle
  • 13. [3DS] Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
  • 14. [PS3] Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
  • 15. [3DS] Mario Kart 7
  • 16. [3DS] Romance of the Three Kingdoms
  • 17. [PS3] AKB1/149: Love Election
  • 18. [3DS] New Super Mario Bros. 2
  • 19. [PS3] Phantom Breaker: Extra
  • 20. [3DS] Mushi Bugyou

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Latest comments (9)

Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd6 years ago
The 3DS sold about as much in Japan alone this week as the Xbox 360 sold in the entire world in the entire month of August last week. It sold well over 50% of the Xbox 360's worldwide August the week before this in Japan alone. In case people thought Japan wasn't a relevant gaming market, just keep in mind that the 3DS is obliterating the 360's and PS3's sales in the entire rest of the world on Japan alone (it's not doing too shabby in the West either).
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
I expected 3DS hardware to drop a little more than that after MH4 launched. That's an insane second week hardware figure.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee6 years ago
I'm so happy for Nintendo to be honest.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games6 years ago
Was there ever any doubt? It sells more than anything for more than 2 years now week after week, almost continuously across the globe! Only 2-3 games made it flinch. Those who hope for Nintendo to go for iOS and die, should hold their tongue and keep breathing!
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
The danger here (as always!) is using 3DS sales as a "good" thing when it's really the Wii U that needs those sales and love. I'm NOT discounting the 3DS at all, kids. It's just that people constantly report on it as it's a REPLACEMENT for the Wii and Wii U (and any other box it outsells that connects to the TV) when it's its own beast and well-deserving to eat the competition's lunch on the portable front.

No one I know who owns a 3DS has one to REPLACE their home console at all - it just has more games more often and some real winners. Shorter dev time does this, as do studios who've mastered what they do on the hardware and can knock it out of the park on a regular basis.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 6 years ago
No big surprise. If the 360 keeps selling the way it is in the US it will also pass lifetime Wii sales here. Anyway, this is good news for Nintendo and bad news for Sony. After all, if the 3DS is selling that well in Japan then we can only imagine how poorly the Vita is selling there. It also means that handhelds(well Nintendo's handhelds) can still flourish in a world populated by mobile and tablet gaming.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd6 years ago
@ Paul You don't have to imagine. If you look up the actual MC sales numbers the Vita sold 5.1K. Less than 1/30th what the 3DS sold.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
Christian: I'd say that's not entirely true (well, here in the US), as I can't think of a single person I know of who ONLY owns a 3DS and no other home console. And again, they don't see the 3DS as a "home" console. I'm more than sure there are people like that, but remember... a great deal of 3DS sales are multiple units in the same households, replacement units (upgrades from the 3DS to the 3DS XL) and so forth and so on. That beefs the numbers up quite nicely and is a great thing to see a pack of kids all playing games in public, sometimes with their parents.

Remember, you can't buy Nintendo hardware without Nintendo software and that 3DS has more (and yep, better) games than some of the competition (which shouldn't include the Wii U, but oh well...). That said, imagine if the Wii U had a similar lineup to the 3DS? That would be pretty outstanding for everyone with even the mildest interest in the hardware...
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University6 years ago
@ Greg

It's taken Nintendo over two years to get to the point where 3DS has that strong a line up, and it's particularly only this year in the West where the over-all software library has reached a strong enough point to lift baseline sales. With titles like Pokemon and Zelda launching globally, and the 2DS lowering the entry barrier, the system will only go from strength to strength.

Of course, it would be brilliant if Wii U had as strong a line up as 3DS. Nintendo must aspire to provide the best possible software for Wii U to expand the install base. It wasn't easy to do that with 3DS, and it will be even more difficult with Wii U. Third party support is thin on the ground, and first party software is more expensive, manpower intensive and time consuming to develop on Wii U than it is on 3DS. For all the money and intellectual property Nintendo have, in terms of development manpower, they are not a huge company, and will struggle to keep pace with the demands of development without more rapid expansion. Wii U needs sales, sure, but that needs to balanced against continuing the success of 3DS. After all, it's Nintendo successful handheld division that keeps them going when their home consoles are struggling. If Nintendo sacrifice that for the far less certain possibility of turning around Wii U, it could be immensely damaging in the long-term.
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