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Japan Charts: Stunning week for DS; Mario Kart, Animal Crossing drive sales

The latest Japanese charts, covering the week in which the Xbox 360 launched in the Far East, show Nintendo's DS console far out in front in the hardware sales ranking, thanks to the arrival of Mario Kart DS.

The latest Japanese charts, covering the week in which the Xbox 360 launched in the Far East, show Nintendo's DS console far out in front in the hardware sales ranking, thanks to the arrival of Mario Kart DS.

The DS sold a massive 299,000 units during the week, further strengthening its lead in the handheld console market over the PlayStation Portable - which it has outsold consistently this year, and which, by comparison, sold 86,000 units in this chart.

The arrival of Mario Kart DS was unquestionably a major factor in the huge success of the console, with over 219,000 units of the online-enabled racing game shifting during the week - while last week's Animal Crossing: Wild World also did well on the DS, selling some 121,000 units in its second week on sale.

However, it wasn't Mario Kart DS that took the top spot in the software ranking; that coveted position went to Sony's PS2 title Rogue Galaxy, which kicks off a new RPG franchise and sold 238,000 units in its first week at retail.

Sega's PS2 adventure title Ryu ga Gotoku also did well in its first week, coming in at number three (just behind Mario Kart DS) with sales of 134,000.

The arrival of Xbox 360 in Japan made little impact on the charts, however; no Xbox 60 titles entered the top ten in the launch week, although since the number ten ranked title - Tamagotchi Connection for the DS - sold 4,000 more units than the Xbox 360 console itself did, that's somewhat unsurprising.

Low sales of just under 44,000 units for the Xbox 360 have been widely attributed to the failure of Tecmo's strongly anticipated beat 'em up title Dead Or Alive 4 to arrive for the console's launch; it will now arrive instead on December 30th, hopefully bringing with it a spike in sales for Microsoft's console in the crucial New Year period.

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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.