Nintendo's latest GBA Pokemon titles, Leaf Green and Fire Red, have topped the charts in Japan with combined sales of over a million units in their first weekend, despite being remakes of the original GameBoy Pokemon games.
The two titles, which took the first and second places in the software ranking for the week ended February 1st and helped to drive GBA hardware sales upwards, sold some 1.01 million units in week one.
That's only a fraction behind the 1.09 million units sold by GBA exclusives Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire in their first week on sale, and confounds the predictions of many market watchers who expected demand for the titles to be weak because they were remakes of older games.
A couple of other new titles also made it into the top ten ranking this week, with ESP's PS2 title Hajime no Ippo 2: Victorious Road, which is based on a popular animated series about boxing, debuting at number three with sales of some 116,000 units, while Atlus' latest PS2 RPG, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne Matrix came in at number five.
Yuke's SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain is a title which will be familiar to western audiences, as it's published over here by THQ, and it enters the chart at number six this week in Japan.
Beyond that it's all familiar titles from last week - with Genki's samurai action game Fuun Shinsengumi still selling well at number four, Capcom's GBA title Upset Trial 3 at seven, and Square Enix' RPG re-release Star Ocean 3 - Director's Cut at number eight.
Nippon Ichi's follow-up to Disgaea, Phantom Brave, is at number nine this week, and Capcom's Megaman Battle Network 4 Tournament titles on GBA are finally on their way out of the chart - with the Blue Moon edition of the game at number ten this week, and the Red Sun edition disappearing out of the top ten.
In hardware terms, Pokemon drove sales of the GBA up significantly, and it had some 57 per cent market share this week, well ahead of the PS2 on 34.5 per cent. The Cube languishes under 10 per cent for the first time in several months, with only 8 per cent market share - not helped by the fact that with no major recent releases, the platform doesn't have any games in the top ten.
|1.||GBA||Pokemon Fire Red||Nintendo||29/01/2003|
|2.||GBA||Pokemon Leaf Green||Nintendo||29/01/2003|
|3.||PS2||Hajime no Ippo 2: Victorious Road||ESP||29/01/2003|
|5.||PS2||Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne Matrix||Atlus||29/01/2003|
|6.||PS2||SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain||YUKE'S||29/01/2003|
|7.||GBA||Upset Trial 3||Capcom||23/01/2003|
|8.||PS2||Star Ocean 3: Till The End of Time - Directors Cut||Square Enix||22/01/2003|
|9.||PS2||Phantom Brave||Nippon Ichi||22/01/2003|
|10.||GBA||Mega Man Battle Network 4 Tournament: Blue Moon||Capcom||12/12/2003|
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