Big in Japan July 27-Aug. 3: Monster Hunter Tri-umphs

Capcom's Nintendo exclusive action-RPG dethrones Dragon Quest IX, sparks a jump in Wii hardware sales; Gears of War 2 debuts in sixth place.

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Since its July 11 debut, Dragon Quest IX for the DS has dominated the Japanese sales charts, selling more than 3 million copies in its first three weeks of release. However, tracking firm Media Create has released its figures for the week of July 27 to August 3, and the Square Enix role-playing game has been usurped by another franchise that has been particularly successful in Japan.

Monster Hunter Tri will be released internationally next year.
Monster Hunter Tri will be released internationally next year.

Capcom's Wii-exclusive action role-playing game Monster Hunter Tri took the top spot on the charts for the week, selling 520,138 copies in its first two days. The game was available on its own or in a bundle with Nintendo's new Classic Controller Pro in black or white color schemes.

Dragon Quest IX was a distant second, selling 179,612, with Nintendo's Tomodachi Collection for the DS (82,144 sold) and Wii Sports Resort (65,536 sold) following in third and fourth. The Mario maker also managed to land a third title in the top 10, with the latest Chibi-Robo on the DS selling 23,113 copies, enough to land it in ninth place.

Monster Hunter Tri wasn't the only new face on the charts. Puyo Puyo 7, Sega's latest DS entry in its long-running puzzle series, landed in fifth with 51,750 sold, followed closely by a rarity on the Japanese top 10, an Xbox 360 game. Epic Games' Gears of War 2 debuted at number six with 48,656 sold. That put it slightly ahead of a new PlayStation 2 Neon Genesis Evangelion-themed Pachi-Slot game (41,848 sold) and From Software's Armored Core 3 Portable for the PSP (40,971 sold).

Just as Monster Hunter Tri overtook the top spot from Dragon Quest IX, so too did the Capcom game's platform overtake that of its predecessor. The Wii racked up 95,357 systems sold for the week, besting the DS's mark of 73,710. The high-profile new software wasn't the only factor driving sales of Nintendo's console during the week; the game maker also just released the system in a new black hue.

Week of July 27-August 3, 2009
Software:
1) Monster Hunter Tri (Wii) - 520,138
2) Dragon Quest IX (DS) - 179,612
3) Tomodachi Collection (DS) - 82,144
4) Wii Sports Resort (WII) - 65,536
5) Puyo Puyo 7 (DS) - 51,750
6) Gears of War 2 (360) - 48,656
7) CR Shinseiki Evangelion: Saigo no Mono (PS2) - 41,848
8) Armored Core 3 Portable (PSP) - 40,971
9) Okaeri! Chibi-Robo! Happy Richie Oosouji (DS) - 23,113
10) To Heart 2 Portable (PSP) - 21,528

Hardware:
Wii - 95,357
DSi - 73,710
PSP - 33,049
DS Lite - 12,027
PS3 - 8,760
PS2 - 3,617
Xbox 360 - 3,552

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