Nintendo has taken the top spot in the Japanese sales charts for the second week running - with the GameCube Pokemon Stadium title (sold as Pokemon Box Ruby & Sapphire in Japan) debuting at number one with sales of around 68,000 units.
The title, which is being sold at around 2800 Yen (c. â'¬20), allows owners of the hugely popular Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire GBA titles to view and battle their Pokemon on the GameCube. It's also being sold as part of a pack with the GBA link cable and a Memory Card 59, and will no doubt continue to sell strongly off the success of the GBA games - both of which are still in the top ten, at numbers eight and ten, after over six months on sale.
This week's other major release, at number two with unit sales of around 67,000, is Sega's Virtual On Marz, a high-speed mech combat game on the PS2 which continues on from a popular series which has had previous instalments in the arcade and on the Saturn and Dreamcast.
Elsewhere, Koei's update to its popular horse racing franchise, Winning Post 5, is at number four, while a bizarre party gambling game from a company called Hackberry pops up at number five. Namco's title at number six this week isn't half as interesting as it sounds though - Family Stadium 2003, despite conjuring mental images of Pokemon battles featuring elderly relatives, is in fact a GameCube baseball game.
The token western game in the top ten this week is one that's a familiar face in the UK sales charts as well - as EA's The Sims (called Sim People in Japan) is at number seven in the chart.
The market is picking up slightly after a slump in the past few weeks, according to these figures. However, according to market analysts Media Create, the downturn trend is still continuing overall, and the performance of the market is described as "not quite satisfactory", even given that this is traditionally one of the slowest periods of the year for software in Japan.
|Pos.||Platform||Title||Publisher||Released||1.||GC||Pokemon Box Ruby & Sapphire||Nintendo||30/05/2003||2.||PS2||Virtual On Marz||Sega||29/05/2003||3.||GBA||Tottoko Hamtaro 4||Nintendo||23/05/2003||4.||PS2||Winning Post 5 MAXIMUM 2003||Koei||29/05/2003||5.||PS2||CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Gekito Version: Pachitte Chonmage Tatsujin 4||Hackberry||29/05/2003||6.||GC||Family Stadium 2003||Namco||30/05/2003||7.||PS2||The Sims||EA||29/05/2003||8.||GBA||Pokemon Sapphire||Nintendo||21/11/2002||9.||GBA||Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgame$||Nintendo||21/03/2003||10.||GBA||Pokemon Ruby||Nintendo||21/11/2002|
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