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Japan Charts: New Gundam title on top, but sales disappoint

Bandai's latest PS2 action title based on the hugely popular Gundam franchise, Mobile Suit Gundam: One Year War, has debuted on top of the Japanese charts - but sales of the game have been disappointing compared to predecessors.

Bandai's latest PS2 action title based on the hugely popular Gundam franchise, Mobile Suit Gundam: One Year War, has debuted on top of the Japanese charts - but sales of the game have been disappointing compared to predecessors.

One Year War sold around 159,000 units in week one, a decent figure for any debut but still far below the performance of the last "Original Gundam" based game, Encounters In Space, which sold 359,000 units in week one back in 2003.

Bandai had obviously expected a better reaction to the title - only 36 per cent of shipped units were sold through during the week, which is very low for a chart-topping title.

Several other new releases made it into the top ten ranking this week, with another Bandai anime-based title at number two, as Saint Seiya: Chapter Sanctuary sold around 89,000 units, while Konami's Pro Baseball Spirits 2 sold around 55,000 units to come in at number three.

The entire top ten ranking is dominated by PS2 titles, with only one DS title breaking up the listing - Nintendo's own Kirby Canvas Curse DS at number six, just behind Tekken 5 at number four and Winning Eleven 8: Livewire Evolution at number five.

In hardware terms, the Nintendo DS outsold the PlayStation Portable for a third week running, taking 26 per cent of the market compared to 25 per cent for the PSP, a difference of just over a thousand units in real terms.

The DS continues to have by far the largest installed base of the two, thanks to a major head-start in late 2004, and while the difference in sales this year has been significant - around 140,000 units - the PSP still has a long way to go to catch up.

In terms of home consoles, the PS2 continues to rule the roost, holding some 33 per cent of the overall market this year - while its nearest competitor, the GameCube, languishes on just three per cent.

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Rob Fahey avatar
Rob Fahey: 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.