Happy Monday everyone, and welcome to a new week of Media Create sales! This week, fans got a chance to grab their Dual Swords (or Spears, or Axes, or… ) to resume the hunt for fantastic beasts. Monster Hunter Double Cross debuted at retail, along with a new Senran Kagura title and Accel World Vs. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight. So, if fans owned a 3DS, PS4, or Vita, they were in for a treat.
Before I begin, I’d like to note: There will be no Media Create update for the next two weeks. Next week, I’ll be working the beat at Anime Boston (and hosting a panel!). The weekend after, I’ll be up against a deadline for something I’ve been working on for about six months, but I’m not quite able to talk about yet. So, before I sign off, I’d like to apologize for the downtime, and thank all of you for reading these past couple of years. You all freaking rock. :)
Second Note: Apologies for the lateness this time around – Reporting on AnimeJapan pretty much devoured my weekend, and kicked my ass in three or four different ways. (rule of thumb for AniBlogging: always remember when AnimeJapan, Anime Expo, and Otakon take place. You probably will not sleep during those three weekends.)
This week, nine titles on Nintendo platforms made their way to the big board, with five 3DS games, three Switch titles, and a Wii U game making the cut.
As expected, the Hunters quickly blazed a trail to the front of the charts, setting their sights on the elusive million. Monster Hunter XX (3DS) took the coveted #1 space this period, with 848,467 units sold. I’d like to note that this is down from the last game, though, which managed to move 1,488,367 in its first week at market. Before we go further, though, I’d like to note that this is a huge drop – Monster Hunter X/Generations managed to move 1,446,289 copies in its opening week. And, for some, that’s enough to start doom and gloom. However, let’s look at a few facts:
- Monster Hunter XX is an expanded version of Generations
- Monster Hunter X shipped in November, at the start of a busy holiday season
- Nintendo just saw a hugely popular hardware launch, which pulled some air out of the room for the 3DS
Honestly, this is one of those odd cases, where it’s bad for the franchise, but still incredibly freaking good overall. Famitsu pegs sell-through at 60-80% of total allotment, and the game’s continuing to move units with online retailers like Yodobashi, Bic camera, and Amazon JP. The game is getting review-bombed, with users complaining of a generally dark display and poor balancing… so it’s hard to say. Still, it’ll be one to watch since this is Monster Hunter.
On the note of big sellers, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) paraglided down to fourth place this period, with 32,115 units sold (262,977). This is a pretty big week for the SKU, which finally crossed the 250K milestone, and enjoys a 59.62% attach rate. As of now, just over one copy of the game is selling with every Switch console, which is impressive, to say the least. The Wii U version also charted this period, claiming 11th place with 11,308 sales (73,392 LTD). To date, the two SKUs have sold a combined 336,369 copies since March 3.
For all the bluster and proclamations that it’d never sell, 1-2-Switch (Switch) also seems to have found a real audience. The title moved another 15,456 units this period (115,737 LTD) to take 9th place.
Just outside of the top-ten, the lure of Alola can still be felt. Pokémon Sun & Moon (3DS) caught 10,128 new trainers (3,211,045 LTD) to take 12th place. The title continues to show strong legs, even four months out, and will likely be a presence as we head into the summer. We’re still looking at 3.3 million by the time summer rolls around, with sales remaining fairly consistent week-over-week.
Meanwhile, the future fights will not be settled with cards, apparently. 3DS game Future Card Buddyfight Mezase! Buddy Champion! opened at 14th place this period, with 9,349 units sold. The title, which is based on an anime that’s based on a card game, seems to have stumbled out the gate. Initial sell-through data pegs the title as moving just 40-60% of its initial allotment.
Sadly, it looks like the sheen of a new(ly updated) Dragon Quest Monsters game is wearing off. 3DS title Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 3 – Professional dove down to 17th place this period, with 5,751 units reaching customers (178,604 LTD). The title did break the 175K milestone, and could realistically break 200K by the time it exits the charts. If it can manage this, it’ll definitely be a win after a surprisingly weak launch.
Further down the chats, it looks like fans are still building a better Mario trap. Super Mario Maker 3DS shifted another 5,646 copies (995,522 LTD) to take 18th place. I still have confidence that this will cross the million mark by the end of March, which is nothing short of fabulous.
It looks like Bomberman’s revival is a bit short-lived though, sadly. Super Bomberman R (Switch) sold through a mere 5,646 copies this time around (50,756) which was enough to blow up 19th place. Still, to see the title break 50K in Japan after such a long hibernation is encouraging. I’m hoping this translates to a new installment in the future.
On the Hardware Front
The Switch took the top sales spot this period, with 49,913 units sold. The 3DS wasn’t far behind, though, selling through 42,279 handhelds.
The Wii U, meanwhile, is just settling in for the very end. The console moved just 368 units this period.
This was a strong week for the PlayStation family, which claimed eleven spaces on the big board. Of those, nine were PS4 games, while two were Vita releases.
Leading the way was the sun-kissed, samurai-flavored Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash (PS4). The fanservice-fueled shooter sold through 53,747 units in its opening week, which was enough to splash down at second place. There’s not much to say here – the game sold fine. It outsold Senran Kagura 2, though it’s far from the series’ peak with 2014’s Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus. What is interesting, though, is that Marvelous is citing 10,000 digital copies sold, giving it a 20% sales ratio – this is incredibly high for Japan, and I am curious to see if it could be a leading indicator of greater digital adoption in some circles.
For those looking for something a bit less blue, Reki Kawahara’s biggest properties proved to be a good alternative. Accel World Vs. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight (Vita) managed to cross over at third place, with 38,653 units sold. The PS4 version wasn’t too far behind, with 32,016 units sold and a fifth place debut. Combined, the two SKUs sold moved 64,669 copies. Now, that said, this is low. Consider that Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization launched at 70,871 on PS4 and 69,648 on Vita just five months ago. To have two SKUs sell less than one SAO release is just plain painful.
A bit further down the chart, shooter fans are taking it to the wildlands. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands (PS4) pushed another 26,628 units this period (116,419) to claim sixth place. With this week, the game officially cleared the 100K milestone, and looks to be headed toward an easy 150K. Here’s hoping they can keep it up.
Speaking of western success stories, Horizon: Zero Dawn continued to show strong legs this time around. The open world adventure moved another 18,096 copies (169,385 LTD) to hunt down 7th place. I wouldn’t be shocked to see this cross 200K by the time it exits the charts, and a quarter million isn’t out of the question at this point. Sony’s studios must be absolutely thrilled, considering this.
The Magic Kingdom continues to linger in the dreams of fans across Japan, though it appears to be a fading fantasy. Kingdom Hearts HD I.5 + II.5 ReMIX (Purple Monkey Dishwasher) (PS4) dove down to 8th place this period, with 16,161 units sold (78,931 LTD). the game managed to break the 75K milestone, and 100K definitely isn’t out of the question. Considering that we’ve seen no fewer than three re-releases of Kingdom Hearts’ first two games to date, I’m still chalking this up as an overall win.
Of course, Kingdom Hearts’ victories are nothing, when compared to the leaps made by YoRHa. Nier: Automata (PS4) descended to 10th this week, as 12,242 new players were asked “You want to XXXX 2B, don’t you?” (269,310 LTD). Joking aside, I’m genuinely pleased to see the momentum holding so well for the title. At the rate it’s going, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Nier: Automata cross 300K by the time it exits the charts. We should see it cross 275K next sales period.
In the lower half of the charts, it looks like PlayStation gamers got a blast from the past. YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World (Konoyo no Hashite de Koi o Utau Shoujo: Yu-No), a remake of a NEC PC-980 visual novel from 1996, managed to score the “two positions” flag. The PS4 version of the game took top honors at 13th place, with 9,629 units sold. The Vita version wasn’t far behind, though, and placed at 15th with 8,858 sales. Combined the two SKUs shifted 18,487 copies. This is a strong opening for the title, which saw the Vita SKU reach near sell-out status (80-100% allocation sold).
For those who aren’t fiending for a revival of a classic visual novel, San Andreas continues to await with open streets and cars to jack. Grand Theft Auto V’s budget price SKU (PS4) shifted another 6,012 copies this period (303,560 LTD) to take 16th place. This particular release finally broke the big 300K milestone, which is simply fantastic. Again, this is a re-release of a port of a game that originally hit stores in 2013. To see it going this strongly four years out is nothing short of phenomenal.
At the back of the pack, the super fighting robots make their last stand. Super Robot Wars V (PS4) managed to cling to 20th place, with 4,680 units sold (126,486). The SKU did manage to break 125K, so there is some cause for celebration as the title makes its graceful exit.
On the Hardware Front
This week, the PS4 took third place, with 34,628 units sold. Of those, 5,823 were PS4 Pro consoles. The Vita sold just under a quarter of its homebound equivalent, with 8,004 handhelds reaching customers.
The PS3 saw a fairly big jump this period, though, with 2,212 sales. This is no doubt spurred by recent news that Sony is discontinuing the platform, and expected to be a temporary boost at best.
In the world of computing, the SyQuest EZ 135 Drive was an early removable hard disk drive, which was introduced to the world in 1995. The drive itself was marketed as a unique competitor to the Iomega Zip drive (Google it) and the LS-120 Super Floppy, both of which sported over 100MB in storage. The EZ 135 used a more unique approach, selling individual 135-MB hard drive platters as cartridges, which cost about $20 each. Due to an inability to increase cartridge size, and a bone-headed decision to make future versions of the drive non-backward compatible, Syquest quickly declined at market and lost out to the Zip Drive (until CD Burners became ubiquitous).
In the world of Japanese hardware sales, 135 XBox One consoles sold is probably sending the same chill felt by Syquest’s higher-ups down the spines of a few Microsoft employees.