The Japanese games market has been turned upside down once again, with the marked increase in PSP sales followed this week by the debut of Halo 3 at number one in the software charts. However, the game’s success has come during one of the slowest sales weeks of the year with its total of 59,000 units sold the lowest for any number one game this year.
Although the Xbox 360 hardware continues to sell poorly in Japan, where first person shoot ‘em-ups have never been widely popular, the success of Halo 3 is not necessarily a surprise. Halo 2 reached number three in the charts on its release in 2004, with 37,000 units sold. Even so Halo 3 has easily eclipsed this figure, and the game’s success will be seen as an important victory for Microsoft in Japan.
For the third week in a row, the true number one in the charts is technically Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 2 for the Nintendo DS, with combined sales of 101,000 units. However, the common practice of splitting Pokemon games into two near identical SKUs has kept it from the official top spot.
The second highest new entry of the week is what will be known in the West as Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop 3, with 54,000 unit sales. The original game was the first million selling third party game on the Nintendo DS but the second, and now third, games in the series have failed to repeat that success.
Despite the overall low level of sales there are a number of new entries this week, with Sony’s anime tie-in Bleach: Blade Battlers 2nd on PlayStation 2 at number six with 31,000 unit sales. Rocket Company’s latest kanji training title/dictionary for the Nintendo DS enters at number seven with 28,000 unit sales and PSP game Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX: Tag Force 2 comes in at number eight with around 28,000 unit sales.
The final new entry of the week is another Western developed title in a genre not traditionally popular in Japan. Bethesda Softworks’ The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion entered the charts at number nine on the PlayStation 3, generating 27,000 unit sales. By contrast fellow Western developed title MySims, which was partially aimed at the Japanese market, has registered a very disappointing first week, stuck at number thirty in the charts.