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 Skyward Sword  Sells Less Than 320K In Its Japanese Holiday Debut
Skyward Sword Sells Less Than 320K In Its Japanese Holiday Debut
December 28, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

December 28, 2011 | By Eric Caoili
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has completely fallen off the top software sales charts in Japan, selling less than 320,000 copies in its debut holiday month.

The Wii game, considered by many as one of Nintendo's biggest releases for the system, has sold considerably less copies than other recent mainline entries for the long-running Legend of Zelda series, such as Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.

Debuting at the top of Japan's software charts in late November, Skyward Sword saw its sales drop quickly not long afterward, and it failed to break into the top 20 two weeks ago. Holiday shopping hasn't generated enough interest to push the game back in this week, either.

For comparison, 2009's The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks sold around 500,000 copies in its first five weeks on Japanese store shelves, while 2007's Phantom Hourglass moved 631,100 during the same length of time.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which accompanied Wii's 2006 launch, sold somewhere between 280,000-350,000 copies in its first week, but that was too a much smaller Wii userbase, and it was competing with a Twilight Princess SKU for GameCube.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has fared much better in the States, where in just the month of November, it sold around 600,000 copies.

Another noticeable absence from last week's top software sales chart are the PS Vita titles launched two weeks ago. Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Dynasty Warriors Next, and Lord of Apocalypse all failed to make a return to the list.

The chart does not include digital sales, though, and all of PS Vita's launch titles are available via PSN, priced cheaper than listings at brick and mortar locations -- Sony Computer Japan CEO claims initial download sales for PS Vita are "exceeding expectations".

As for games that did make the top 20, 3DS's Mario Kart 7 sold 260,836 copies last week, while Super Mario 3D Land moved 174,566 copies. Both first-party games have now sold over 1 million copies each.

Capcom's Monster Hunter 3G is close to hitting that same milestone before the end of the year, too. It sold 115,069 copies, and has pushed 885,456 copies since shipping three weeks ago.

Final Fantasy XIII-2, which saw one of the poorest debuts for a main entry of Square Enix's flagship franchise, dropped from the number one spot last week to fifth place, selling 118,816 copies for a total of 643,033.

New games appearing on the chart this week include Koei Tecmo's Warriors Orochi 2 for PS3 (200,526 sold), as well as Bandai Namco's SD Gundam G Generation 3D for 3DS (90,873 sold) and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable for PSP (57,320 sold).

Level-5's Inazuma Eleven Strikers 2012 Extreme for Wii (85,117 sold) and Square Enix's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Dubbed Edition for PS3 (51,156 sold) also shipped this week.

The complete top 20 chart, as supplied by Media Create and posted by NeoGAF, is shown below:

LWTWTitlePublisherPlatformWeekly Sales
31Mario Kart 7Nintendo3DS260,836
NEW2Warriors Orochi 2Koei TecmoPS3200,526
53Super Mario 3D LandNintendo3DS174,566
24Monster Hunter Tri GCapcom3DS155,069
15Final Fantasy XIII-2Square EnixPS3118,816
66Kirby's Return to Dream LandNintendoWii114,545
97Just Dance WiiNintendoWii96,771
NEW8SD Gundam G Generation 3D Bandai Namco Games3DS90,873
49Inazuma Eleven Go: Shine / DarkLevel-53DS86,026
NEW10Inazuma Eleven Strikers 2012 XtremeLevel-5Wii85,117
1111Wii PartyNintendoWii71,461
NEW12Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of DestinyBandai Namco GamesPSP57,320
1013PokePark 2: Beyond the WorldPokemon Co.Wii55,344
1714Taiko Drum Master Wii: KetteibanBandai Namco GamesWii55,256
1315Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic GamesNintendoWii52,611
NEW16Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Dubbed EditionSquare EnixPS351,156
1217Magician's Quest: Osharena Mahoutsukai KonamiDS50,074
2018One Piece: Gigant Battle! 2 New WorldBandai Namco GamesDS49,921
1619Wii Sports Resort with Wii Remote PlusNintendoWii48,929
2120Mario Kart WiiNintendoWii43,752

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Jonathan Murphy
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This plagued the crap out of that game whenever people looked at it in a store, "Oooh! New Zelda game! Need motion plus to play it? ..." No one likes buying a mandatory accessory for one game! Look at ANYONE who tried this in the past.

Francisco Javier Espejo Gargallo
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I think that The Zelda Series are getting to deep for the mainstream public. I guess they should go back to a less complex game design with improved storyline. Skyward Sword is a game that requires too long game session and too much effort to reach the dungeons, while the world lacks of more life. A Zelda less complex with more beautiful crafted worlds would bemore successful I think.

On the other hand, maybe this game got too late on the Wii. The numbers of dedicated active gamers on the system must be near to 0!

Ramon Carroll
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Personally, I'd like to see a reboot of the Zelda series. I've played this series since the first game on the NES, yet the IP is really starting to grow stale for me.

Weston Wedding
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What would a reboot mean in the context of a Zelda game? Do you consider Metroid Prime a reboot of Metroid?

Zelda has no story to reboot so I imagine you mean a gameplay change such as the transition from 2D to 3D, where the general expectations are still there but the gameplay is substantially changed.

Christopher Engler
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Didn't they already try a reboot with Wind Waker? How well did that work for them? I love Zelda's archetypal story, but the gameplay is getting a bit stale. Plus, I don't like having an entire system (Wii) that only comes out with one good game a year. I know Nintendo is wildly successful, but I'd prefer they open up their catalogue to other consoles.

wes bogdan
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Sounds like perfect dark syndrome to me where the audience for the series/type of game has already moved on by release. At least PD came with the mem pack while zelda simply expected you to have or buy it.

Nintendo should've released zelda with a wiimote plus in EVERY box and then if you wanted a gold wiimote there's still that edition but unlike pd you are responsible for motion plus as they didn't even pack in the dongle which would have been the cheapest pack in.

So with no audience,no pack in zelda was received @ home as expected-myself i have the gold wiimote ed. but spend much more time on ps3,360 or 3ds than wii.

Nintendo should know better,oh well @ least there's Wii u coming up.