Big in Japan Jan 16-22: Mario Kart 7, Rhythm Thief

3DS outsells all other platforms combined; Nintendo's handheld accounts for four of top five best-selling games as mascot racer retakes top spot after a week in second.

If January's sales numbers are any indication, the 3DS is in for a banner year in Japan for 2012. The Media Creates sales update for the week of January 16-22 showed Nintendo's handheld outsold all other systems combined. Meanwhile, Mario Kart 7 proved it still had gas in the tank, retaking the top spot on the software charts after being relegated to second place the previous week.

Rhythm Thief can carry a tune and crack a safe at the same time.

The top new title for the week was Sega's Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure for the 3DS. The publisher sold 31,598 units of the title on its debut week. The game stars a thief-by-trade 18-year old named Ralph in search of his long-lost father. To assist him on that quest, players will need to guide Ralph to steal rare treasures via rhythm minigames. Rhythm Thief will be out in other countries early this year.

The week also marked the first Xbox 360 game to crack the top 10 during 2012: D3's Onechanbara Z Kagura. The latest sequel to the Onechanbara series was at fifth place with 22,013 units sold. The action title pits players in control of half-vampire sisters Kagura and Saaya who are given the order to kill off previous Onechanbara stars Aya and Saki because they caused a zombie uprising.

New handheld titles include Heroes Phantasia from Namco Bandai and Labyrinth no Kanata (Beyond the Labyrinth) from Konami. The former was at sixth place with 15,163 units sold while the latter was at eight place, with 14,176 units sold.

Heroes Phantasia is a role-playing game for the PSP that features anime crossovers from series such as Read or Die, s-CRY-ed, Slayers Revolution, and Blood+. The game's battle system is similar to the PlayStation classic Valkyrie Profile, where each button is mapped to a different party member and attacks can be chained with timed button presses.

Labyrinth no Kanata is a 3DS RPG where players control a party of four escorting a mysterious female guide through the depths of the underworld. The effectiveness of each party member in combat is determined by how well a player protects the guide.

On the hardware side, the sales for the PS Vita dropped slightly. Sony sold 15,219 units of the device; the PS3 and PSP were at second and third place, respectively. The company sold 21,155 units of the former and 17,181 units of the latter. Meanwhile, the 3DS remained on top with 80,960 units sold, while the Wii was at fifth place with 10,173 units sold.

JAPAN GAME SALES WEEK OF JANUARY 16-22

Software
Rank/Title/Publisher/Platform/Unit sales
1. Mario Kart 7 / Nintendo / 3DS / 35,105
2. Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure / Sega / 3DS / 31,598
3. Monster Hunter 3G / Capcom / 3DS / 31,369
4. Super Mario 3D Land / Nintendo / 26,051
5. Onechanbara Z Kagura / D3 / Xbox 360 / 22,013
6. Heroes Phantasia / Namco Bandai / PSP / 15,163
7. Inazuma Eleven Go / Level-5 / 3DS / 14,190
8. Labyrinth no Kanata / Konami / 3DS / 14,176
9. Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Masou Kishin I & II / Namco Bandai / PSP / 11,598
10. Musou Orochi 2 / Tecmo Koei / PS3 / 10,690

Hardware
3DS – 80,960
PS3 – 21,155
PSP – 17,181
PS Vita – 15,219
Wii – 10,173
Xbox 360 – 1,588
DSi XL – 1,200
PS2 – 903
DSi - 822

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Discussion

34 comments
moving_buddy
moving_buddy

might have to check out rythm thief, nice to see a game that isnt a sequel selling that well.

chazy035
chazy035

We all know that if Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure is selling well in Japan, it means it's also going to sell very well in NA. OBVIOUSLY. That also same goes for the Vita!!! VITA IS DOOOOOOOOMED!!!

brosim1104
brosim1104

Vita is really state of the art at handheld, and that is why i'm afraid it won't have a price cut any time soon, like 3DS had. It's a shame though. I really want it.

pikadeth
pikadeth

astro_viper, you are correct. These site usually don't know what they're talking about and shouldn't be quoted. I'm still not buying one until the price drops though. I had a large PSP game collection before buying the system as well. It'll give Sony some time to get the bugs out.

renji4eva
renji4eva

I think it's pretty funny that the PSP is selling more than the PS Vita.

TechnoDrago
TechnoDrago

You know, I can't blame people for still buying PSP. I mean you got Monster Hunter, anime games (Naruto, Bleach, Persona, etc), not to mention those new games are coming out on it (FF Type-0, etc) and plenty more. Vita just starting but not many good games for that high price... UMD still in the air too.

HyabusaRyu
HyabusaRyu

"3DS outsells all other platforms combined" what a way to start off an article =D

sacatash
sacatash

The PSP Vita's underwhelming sales and price is really making me consider to wait instead of getting it this year.

ProMethUse
ProMethUse

still, the best Mario Kart for me was "Double Dash", although the others are still good in comparison

Amin_and_Azizah
Amin_and_Azizah

Playing games in 3D is the most beautiful thing in the world of video games right now :D

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Gotta love the names of the games in Japan :D

Halloll
Halloll

ps2 is still kicking

ar6ra6sh9
ar6ra6sh9

i really cant understand why more psp when we have ps vita??? if its about games japanes must be sure that sony will release more games for japanes tasts ... so ... why??? :\

ar6ra6sh9
ar6ra6sh9

gggeehhhh :\ still wants to buy a handheld console but i dunno ... 3ds or vita??? GGGRRRR someone help meeeeeeeeeeeeee

megakick
megakick

PSPvita 15,219 PSP 17,181 3DS 80,960 PSPVita is gettin PWND! Something is seriously wrong if the PSP is still outselling the PSPVita.

dxdevilex0
dxdevilex0

@Oldboy08 I realised it too,and the words are always in bold. @motang I think the DS family's worldwide sales is going to surpass PS2's,because the DSes(excluding 3DS of course) has already sold 150 mil+ and still going strong while PS2 sales are dying already. Good to know that the 3DS is still going strong too,and 3DS sales will skyrocket even more with Feb and March being packed with tons of awesome 3DS games. MKWii sales is still in top 20 if you guys didn't know. :D

metalkitten
metalkitten

already preordered rhythm thief:D - cant wait! not really much to say about the hardware sales - it keeps going like it has the last weeks - im not surprised

Oldboy08
Oldboy08

@solidty Why do you have to give a summary of a summary every week in the Big in Japan? I am pretty sure people JUST saw what you posted in the article...

astro_viper
astro_viper

@pikadeth @Gelugon_baat I think this is what Pikadeth is referring to, but the analysis is questionable and full of holes. http://www.lazygamer.net/general-news/how-much-does-the-playstation-vita-cost-to-make/ If you read some of the comments after the article, you will discover that the team who estimated the cost left out several key components. R&D and production costs are also not given any weight, but I suppose that would be a very difficult number to gage. That being said, all the numbers are based on estimates as no one really knows how much Sony pays for each component (bulk discounts) . Not sure I fully buy the $160 figure. Likely closer to $200, but definitely less than the current sales figure (especially here in Japan, where the US conversion puts the price around $320US).

astro_viper
astro_viper

@ pikadeth Can you (or anyone else) provide a link to verify said claim?

pikadeth
pikadeth

It has been reported that the Vita costs Sony $160 to make. They are not losing money on it and REALLY need to lower the price as a result.

monson21502
monson21502

ps vita has no chance against 3ds..... looks like sony will always get sloppy seconds in the handheld market because even after releasing a system after nintendo they are to greedy at least stay close to its price.

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

fatee japanese games have been some of the best made dont give ass Effect so much props some of us dont care for it

JaxxRaxor
JaxxRaxor

@tarv4973 The good thing for Nintendo is they have massive profits stored up from the success of the Wii and DS line, so losing money on the 3DS won't hurt them too much if they are selling alot of 3DS and especially a lot of software. (Mario Kart 7 in particular is looking like a long runner in terms of good sales over the entire life cycle of the 3DS). Also I wouldn't call the Vita a flop yet based on it's performance in Japan. What Sony needs is a game that will appeal strongly to the Japanese market, and then the Vita will start to pick up. Sony is already losing money on the Vita so I don't anticipate a price cut. Also Sony's launch line up in the West is much stronger than the 3DS, so there is hope for them yet to make up for the lackluster sales in Japan.

zero_none
zero_none

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Micropixel
Micropixel

Wow! I did a little math just now and realized that the 3DS outselling all the other platforms combined! 3DS: 80,960 Everyone else: 68,241 That is effing impressive! I don't care what anyone else says, Nintendo is CLEARLY still in the driver seat in the handheld department.

tarv4973
tarv4973

Vita is going to be a monumental flop if they don't cut the price soon. The price cut is clearly hurting Nintendo from their last earnings report. At least they were smart enough to realize you can't move alot of units without it being priced in the DS range.

fatee
fatee moderator

I remember playing final fantasy 7 thinking japanese RPGs were the best thing in the world, while ff7 is still a great game - I couldn't even imagine playing any of the newer Final fantasies over say, Mass Effect. In short, Japanese games need to evolve. they are stuck in the 90's only a very few have broke the mold such as hideo kajima (metal gear).

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

Onechanbara Z Kagura ftw lol shows you if the 360 makes monster hunter games and sexy games that thay can make the list in japan lolll

Mc_Trickz
Mc_Trickz

Ps2 is by far the best console made in history...

Oldboy08
Oldboy08

3DS is awesome, I am seeing more and more on the trains every week. :P Mario saikou dayo~~

motang
motang

Amazing the PS2 is still selling!