[Gamasutra rounds up recent reports on the Japanese games industry from local news site Andriasang.com, a leading destination for English-language news on Japan's game industry.]
In our latest round-up of Japanese game industry news not previously reported on Gamasutra, we look at sales for Level-5's new visual novel Time Travelers (pictured), and a new campaign to promote downloadable retail games for 3DS.
Nintendo will begin selling full retail 3DS games as downloadable titles through the system's eShop service next week in Japan, part of the company's efforts to increase its online offerings for its consoles.
To call consumers' attention to this new initiative, Nintendo will run a promotion from July 28 to September 2, which rewards consumers with extra points for its Club Nintendo loyalty program, and a special edition of Donkey Kong when they purchase New Super Mario Bros. 2 or Demon Training on the eShop.
Titled Donkey Kong – Original Edition, the bonus game is a modified version of the NES port for the seminal arcade game, except it includes a missing level and additional content that wasn't in the console title. It was previously only available in Europe as with the 25th Anniversary Wii bundle.
Though 3DS hardware and software sales continue to outclass PS Vita's, Level-5's new multiplatform visual novel, Time Travelers, actually sold more for Sony's new handheld than for Nintendo's portable after debuting in Japan last week (a PSP version will release this week, too).
The two versions saw combined sales of just under 20,000 units (the PS Vita edition sold just a hundred more copies than the 3DS release) -- Level-5 has had trouble finding handheld hits lately for any of its releases that aren't in the Professor Layton or Inazuma Eleven series.
Level-5 has had some luck with its Little Battlers eXperience franchise, but its attempts to create new IPs with recent portable releases like Guild01, Girls RPG: Cinderellife, and now Time Travelers have all sold poorly so far.
[This story was written with permission using material from Andriasang.com, a leading destination for English-language news on Japan's game industry.]