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Japan Charts: GameCube surges as Mario Kart takes the top spot

Sales of Nintendo's GameCube rose by over 145 per cent in Japan last week as the highly anticipated Mario Kart: Double Dash went straight in at number one in its first week on sale.

Sales of Nintendo's GameCube rose by over 145 per cent in Japan last week as the highly anticipated Mario Kart: Double Dash went straight in at number one in its first week on sale.

Mario Kart sold around 208,000 units in its first weekend on sale, making it into one of the strongest-performing new releases on the Japanese market in the past few months, and helping to give the software market a much-needed shot in the arm.

The GameCube's hardware market share shot up to 28.38 per cent on the launch of the game, challenging the PS2 which had 30.6 per cent share. Admittedly, the PS2's sales have been depressed by the news of an imminent price cut - expect it to establish a clear lead for itself once again when this price cut comes into effect. The GBA continues to be the best selling console in Japan, with 39 per cent share this week.

In software terms, a number of other new titles joined Mario Kart at the top of the chart, although none of them came close to shifting the number of units that Nintendo's big hitter managed.

Banpresto's Super Robot Battle: Scramble Commander on PS2 came in at number two, representing another successful title in the incredibly long-running mech strategy series, while Sony's fantastic-looking horror title Siren debuted at number three.

The only other new release in the top ten was Yamasa Entertainment's Yamasa Digi World SP: Neo Magic Pulser XX on the PS2, which despite sounding like a particularly esoteric piece of DJ kit, is in fact some form of role-playing title.

Pos. Platform Title Publisher Released
1. GC Mario Kart: Double Dash! Nintendo 07/11/2003
2. PS2 Super Robot Battle: Scramble Commander Banpresto 06/11/2003
3. PS2 Siren Sony 06/11/2003
4. PS2 Taiko no Tatsujin: 3rd Generation Namco 30/10/2003
5. GC Made in Wario Nintendo 17/10/2003
6. PS2 Naruto: Narutimate Hero Bandai 23/10/2003
7. PS2 Yamasa Digi World SP: Neo Magic Pulser XX Yamasa Entertainment 06/11/2003
8. PS2 Grand Theft Auto 3 Capcom 25/09/2003
9. PS2 Hanabi Hyakkei Nippon Amuse 30/10/2003
10. PS2 Rakusho! Pachinko Slot Sengen Tecmo 23/10/2003

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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