Big in Japan January 3-9: Monster Hunter Portable 3

Capcom's critter-killing beat-'em-up easily retains top software slot with 133,500 sales, but PSP loses hold on hardware crown.

Game sales continue to deflate following the holiday rush in Japan, but the Christmas season's top choices remain much the same. Reporting on Japanese retail sales for the week of January 3-9, Media Create pegged Capcom's Monster Hunter Portable 3 as the top seller, continuing its run atop the stat-tracker's charts with 133,562 units sold.

Monster hunting is basically a national pastime in Japan.

In a repeat of the week prior's top 10, Nintendo's Donkey Kong Country Returns and Wii Party, both for the Wii, followed Capcom's PSP beat-'em-up, selling 66,551 units and 53,144 units, respectively. A collection of usual suspects followed, with Pokemon Black/White, Mario Sports Mix, Ninokuni: Shikkoku no Madoushi, and Gundam Musou 3 lining up behind Wii Party.

The week offered only one new release to crack Media Create's top 10 software chart: SaGa 3: Jikuu no Hasha - Shadow or Light for the DS. A spin-off from Square Enix's name-brand Final Fantasy franchise, SaGa 3 sold 27,344 during its first week of availability in Japan.

Though the software chart remained much the same, Media Create's hardware chart shuffled during the week. Namely, the PSP lost its weeks-long grip on the top of the hardware chart, selling just 28,757 units during the week. That performance put it behind the PlayStation 3 (59,612), Wii (56,547), DSi LL (44,122), and DSi (38,486).

JAPAN GAME SALES WEEK OF JANUARY 3-9, 2011
Software:
Rank / Title / Publisher / Platform / Unit sales
1. Monster Hunter Portable 3 / Capcom / PSP / 133,562
2. Donkey Kong Country Returns / Nintendo / Wii / 66,551
3. Wii Party / Nintendo / Wii / 53,144
4. Pokemon Black and White / The Pokemon Company / DS / 45,590
5. Mario Sports Mix / Nintendo / Wii / 40,123
6. Ninokuni: Shikkoku no Madoushi / Level 5 / DS / 37,237
7. Gundam Musou 3 / Namco Bandai / PS3 / 30,128
8. SaGa 3: Jikuu no Hasha - Shadow or Light / Square Enix / DS / 27,344
9. The 3rd Birthday / Square Enix / PSP / 27,279
10. New Super Mario Bros. Wii / Nintendo / Wii / 24,888

Hardware:
PS3 - 59,612
Wii - 56,547
DSi LL - 44,122
DSi - 38,486
PSP - 28,757
DS Lite - 4,510
PSP Go - 4,084
Xbox 360 - 3,859
PS2 - 2,547

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Discussion

54 comments
berebd
berebd

@hannify Dont wanna say much but mh portable 3rd has plenty of new monsters and outfits to make.. I personally imported it and i love it, it has moste of the good things from tri with new things added. Yes they have a few monsters from previouse games, but hell its allot of fun, improved hitboxes, tweeks in the animations and stuff. its just awsome really xD can see why they like it so much, pitty i have no one to play with...

CamoBullo
CamoBullo

@hannify Sounds like you never got into MH.

angelbless
angelbless

It seems that each continent has its own likes. I personally didnt like MH too much :(

redskinStu
redskinStu

Japanese gamers are nuts man, but I have to give them credit...there's some cool stuff like Yakuza 3 coming out of there. But where's Shenmue 3??? Now, they just have to get Front Mission back to Tactics-strategy, and then we'll be good.

ElevenHandMan
ElevenHandMan

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

whitejackel
whitejackel

@MrcMike I agree with you, things over here in the west seem to be all shooters and what not and i may not be a shooter fan but im a huge MH fan so like wise on that as well haha.

jb9776
jb9776

@recboy not really, the wii owns in the US lady, don't forget it.

MrcMike
MrcMike

Call me crazy or whatever but I actually prefer to look at the Japanese charts more then the western ones. The Japanese knows a good game when they see it and know that not every game has to be a shooter in order to sell. I'm a huge fan of the shooter genre myself but I would rather know when Monster Hunter Portable 3 will come to North America rather than knowing what the next CoD will look like.

Recboy
Recboy

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

oChampion
oChampion

haha ps3 hardware sales are about 15.5x more than xbox. ownd.

slimskelter
slimskelter

I love the Japanese, they're f'ing crazy. But I can't understand the appeal of a lot of their games. I'm 32. I thought the DK Country games were stylized to appeal to western audiences as well as several Mario themed games like Kart and so on. However, I can see how our "young" (American) culture is beginning to embrace games heavy in Japanese culture. Largely due to the Pokemon craze and the entrance of anime In American afternoon t.v. I can't say if any of this is good or not for the direction of videogames. I hope so.

steelmouth
steelmouth

the impact of kinect still not visible, infct how is kinect doing in the 1st place in japan, i actually thought it will be big

RitsukoEX
RitsukoEX

@NColdhardt The Wii and the DS are the best selling consoles. I'm Xbox360 fangirl but I know these consoles are still on top!

RitsukoEX
RitsukoEX

@kweeni sad I know! but thats japan for ya!

CS19052
CS19052

And I just had to ruin my psp before this came out... Don't know if it's worth getting one again though! :S

Raykuza
Raykuza

@Hollow-Byakuya Look again. The 3rd Birthday is a shooter.

frazzle00
frazzle00

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

kweeni
kweeni

The Xbox 360 is competing with the PS2.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

Freedom Unite is really quite fun. I will certainly give this a try, mostly because of the new monsters.

ahnzz
ahnzz

well lets say the most popular games in the east and the most popular games in the west are the best games

shaun_ofda_dead
shaun_ofda_dead

Every week it's Monster Hunter dominating the charts. It makes me think how popular that game must really be in Japan, and how it seems that the leading consoles in the States will never see it. Kind of sad :(

Hillsy_
Hillsy_

Not one western game in that selection. Says it all really.

LP4EVA2005
LP4EVA2005

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

TheClown24
TheClown24

@Halloll except Monster Hunter is you know, good.

Hollow-Byakuya
Hollow-Byakuya

I prefer the look of the Japanese charts. Not a shooter in sight.

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

@ annoyingdevil because when they thought of westerners they thought shooters so they added guns to monster hunter and called it lost planet. and i dont think they would take on a HD console project where it will only be popular in 1 region. btw xbox got a port of MH frontier didnt it?

annoyingdevil
annoyingdevil

Why is there no monster hunter for xbox 360 or ps3 ?

Halloll
Halloll

monster hunter is like their call of duty

Drkr_Zen
Drkr_Zen

Going to be a great year for handheld gaming, as well. I can't wait for Pokemon B/W and Lord of Arcana, Gods Eater Burst and Monster Hunter Freedom 3. What's funny about B/W and MHP3, though, is the former was out since mid September, the latter since December 1st, but each sold about 4.5 and 3.5 million, respectively.

mario-nin-freak
mario-nin-freak

@zzamaro sorry, should have said games on nintendo consoles.

zzamaro
zzamaro

@amaan4ever "people dont play cod in japan lol" What do you mean? That IS a good thing, it shows that they have better taste than us ;)

zzamaro
zzamaro

@mario-nin-freak err, no, 5 of ten spots only. 5 nintendo titles, 2 square enix titles, 1 namco title, 1 capcom title and 1 L5 title.

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

people dont play cod in japan lol

Koushin
Koushin

@Wormkid_64 Actually, if anything these reports are good and useful because they indicate what may be coming to your own region from Japan in a few months. Since the US market localizes many Japanese titles, you can get an early preview at what is really selling. And although the last few years Japanese games have been getting criticism, they still have a long record at making games and they do make a lot of good ones. Also, these articles don't take much work since its just transferring information from Media Create's website onto Gamespot's website (even Famitsu Business reports the sales too on their webpage). Most people here wouldn't know how to get there nor read it (cause it's in Japanese). So I think GS does people a quick and hassle free service that doesn't get in the way of their reporting.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

Ugh.More sales.Can we forget this and go to news about GAMES and console here on GAMEspot. Though it is interesting to see what a very different place Japan is.Look at how few 360s sold there,as opposed to PS3 and Wii.It's nearly backwards from the US figures.

Bboyjhin
Bboyjhin

man im still waiting for monster hunter freedom 3 come on i want to play it before the psp2 comes out!!!

jb9776
jb9776

@ncoldhardt totally agree with you about sales of ps3 in asia and 360 sales in america. People want to hate on japans sales numbers because the 360 doesn't sell good there but if it did those same people would have nothing but positive things to say.

soulless4now
soulless4now

It's a shame that SaGa game will never make it stateside. :(

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

correction mario and nintendo games always make the top ,, so i wouldnt blame that as a reason for japan declining if anything , , its because of rpg fans, nintendo and sony originate from japan , remember this the next time you point out nintendos 2 games -dkc4 and wii party/marioparty9 , what ever you dont bash somthing because you dont like it its just not right better back that up next time you have an excuse

lamprey263
lamprey263

I had no idea they released a 3rd game in the Parasite Eve series, just found that out when I google "3rd Birthday" which is at the #9, and Wikipedia says it's coming to North America and Europe 1st quarter 2011; I might be interested. Anyhow, considering how long Square Enix was working on their Crystal Tools engine, and how there hasn't been a Parasite Eve game in like 10 years, I thought if they revived this series they'd of done so at least on the PS3, and possibly the Xbox 360 too. Anyhow, guess that'll give me something new to play on my PSP just in case Patapon 3 gets delayed again.

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

Japan has the same franchises from decades ago. Agree with monson 21502, only fanboys blind themselves

monson21502
monson21502

look at the top 5 games. then you will see why japan has fallen to usa and the uk in market share

hippiesanta
hippiesanta

hahaha go psp go!! xbox is behind you

Oldboy08
Oldboy08

Looking good XD MONSTER HUNTER still selling great in its 7th week? and POKEMON STILL selling after months and months.

NColdhardt
NColdhardt

... And this is why articles about the 360 being the best-selling console are skewed. It doesn't take into account international sales. Microsoft's Xbox is big in America. Sony's PlayStation is big everywhere else (primarily in Asia). That said, I'm happy for Monster Hunter. It used to be such a cult-game, now it's on the top selling list. It makes me happy knowing that, in time, good games will get recognized for their brilliance.

MamaLukuBuku
MamaLukuBuku

I love seeing 360 sales so low. Makes me smile :D

Oloryn
Oloryn

Been hooked on Monster Hunter since I first tried Freedom Unite. It's a very specific type of game and very challenging, but I find it fair and rewarding when you manage to slay some of the harder monsters. Definitely a great co-op game if you have friends you can play with. Glad to see the series still has some legs and hope to see more stateside, but til then, lovin me some Tri.