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Japan Charts: Naruto displaces Wario, but Cube sales still strong

Last week's No.1 Made in Wario has slipped off the pace as Bandai's duo of Naruto and Macross quarrel over top billing, but Cube sales remain strong after a recent price cut.

The GameCube continues to enjoy strong sales in Japan this week following a recent price cut, despite quirky multiplayer title Made in Wario slipping from No.1 to No.3 in the software charts.

Indeed, Nintendo's console took just over 18.07 per cent of this week's hardware share, up from 15 per cent last week, giving Nintendo a total of 58.65 per cent of hardware sales in Japan factoring in Game Boy Advance sales.

However PS2 sales continued to outperform everything individually, including the GBA SP, which continues to sell strongly - with Bandai taking the top two places in the chart with NARUTO: Narutimate Hero, which sold approximately 136,000 units, and Super Dimension Fortress Macross, which sold approximately 79,000 units, both on PlayStation 2. By comparison, last week Made in Wario sold just 90,000 units to reach No.1. The PS2 console itself swallowed 38.78 per cent of hardware sales.

Apart from Square Enix's Front Mission 1st (No.6), which is a PlayStation One title, and the abovementioned Made in Wario for GameCube, the only other non-PS2 title to chart this week was Nintendo's Oriental Blue for the GBA, which made it to No.5.

Elsewhere in the chart, the distinctly Western Grand Theft Auto III found itself replaced at No.4 in the chart by another distinctly Western title, the much maligned Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness from Eidos. GTA3, meanwhile, dropped to No.7, but still managed to keep its head about the likes of Way of the Samurai 2 (which slipped from No.2 to No.8) and The King of Fighters 2001 (No.9), not to mention a slew of other releases which didn't make the Top 10 this week.

Overall, despite big percentages for Sony and Nintendo to celebrate, the Japanese games market remains relatively slow, with the sheer number of new releases boosting market performance rather than a small number of big-sellers. Total sales for the Top 100 this week amounted to some 675,000 units.

And once again Xbox sales in the region will make uncomfortable reading for Microsoft. Although it left the SwanCrystal console a little behind, grabbing 0.94 per cent of hardware sales compared to the Bandai handheld's 0.48 per cent, it lost out once again to the PSone, which took 1.15 per cent of the hardware sales, dragging Sony's share for the week up to a healthy 39.93 per cent.

Pos. Platform Title Publisher Released
1. PS2 NARUTO: Narutimate Hero Bandai 23/10/2003
2. PS2 The Super Dimension Fortress Macross Bandai 23/10/2003
3. GC Made In Wario Nintendo 17/10/2003
4. PS2 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness Eidos 23/10/2003
5. GBA Oriental Blue Nintendo 24/10/2003
6. PS Front Mission 1st Square Enix 23/10/2003
7. PS2 Grand Theft Auto III Capcom 25/09/2003
8. PS2 Way of the Samurai II Spike 09/10/2003
9. PS2 The King of Fighters 2001 SNK PLAYMORE 23/10/2003
10. PS2 Necchu! Pro Baseball 2003: Autumn Night Games Festival Namco 23/10/2003

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Tom Bramwell: Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.