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Japan Charts: Strong performance for Nintendo in key New Year period

Gran Turismo 4: Prologue took the top spot in Japan during the week encompassing the New Year holiday, but much of the rest of the top ten in this major sales week was dominated by Nintendo's titles.

Gran Turismo 4: Prologue took the top spot in Japan during the week encompassing the New Year holiday, but much of the rest of the top ten in this major sales week was dominated by Nintendo's titles.

Combined sales for the top 100 titles during the week amounted to 2.5 million units, well ahead of last year's figure for the same week, which was slightly above 2 million units. The vast bulk of sales came from older titles, with no new releases in the top ten and only two in the top 100.

Aside from Gran Turismo 4 Prologue (which must surely count as the best selling game demo of all time), the top ten is largely a Nintendo dominated affair, with five GameCube titles and two GBA titles in the ranking.

Directly behind Prologue, we find Mario Party 5 and Mario Kart Double Dash at two and three respectively, while Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga (GBA) is at four - a line up of three titles which prove beyond any doubt just how strong the Mario franchise still is in Japan.

Rhythm action title Donkey Konga at number five and the first console RPG outing for the Pokemon franchise, Pokemon Colosseum, at number six, complete the Nintendo first-party blitz - but Tomy gets a look-in on GameCube with Naruto 2 at number eight, a fighting game based on a popular anime series, while Capcom's Mega Man Battle Network 4 Tournament: Blue Moon is in at number nine on the GBA.

Picking up the scraps of the top ten that fall from the Nintendo table are Sony's own Hot Shots Golf 4 (also known as Everybody's Golf 4), which is at number seven this week and has sold incredibly well since its launch in late November, while Namco's Taiko no Tatsujin: 3rd Generation (Drum Master 3) is at number ten, also on PS2.

The hardware charts show a familiar layout, with the GBA leading the pack with 40 per cent market share, while the PS2 is close second with just over 35 per cent share, and the GameCube continues to hold a healthy share of the market with 23.7 per cent share.

Interestingly, despite the increasing size of the software market and the lower console prices compared with this week last year, the hardware market is actually in noticeable decline - with 692,000 hardware units sold, a fairly respectable figure but down from 883,000 last year, which serves to prove the theory that the hardware-driven portion of the current generation's sales curve is well and truly over.

Pos. Platform Title Publisher Released
1. PS2 Gran Turismo 4: Prologue Sony 04/12/2003
2. GC Mario Party 5 Nintendo 28/11/2003
3. GC Mario Kart: Double Dash Nintendo 07/11/2003
4. GBA Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga Nintendo 21/11/2003
5. GC Donkey Konga Nintendo 12/12/2003
6. GC Pokemon Colosseum Nintendo 21/11/2003
7. PS2 Hot Shots Golf 4 Sony 27/11/2003
8. GC Naruto 2 Tomy 04/12/2003
9. GBA Mega Man Battle Network 4 Tournament: Blue Moon Capcom 12/12/2003
10. PS2 Taiko no Tatsujin: 3rd Generation Namco 30/10/2003

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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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