Big in Japan Oct. 5-11: Pokemon HeartGold, SoulSilver

Nintendo's one-two punch takes top spot in a sales week with few big new releases; latest DS Shin Megami Tensei debuts at third spot.

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Nintendo's Pokemon franchise is big pretty much everywhere, but the latest sales charts serve as a reminder that Pikachu and company are clearly still Big in Japan. For the week of October 5-11, Japanese tracking firm Media-Create's top 10 software sales chart has the latest Pokemon titles, DS counterparts HeartGold and SoulSilver, combining to sell 188,625 copies, more than any other title in that span.

Scientists now believe Pokemon have neither souls nor hearts, their existences fueled purely by a desire to fight each other for the amusement of unseen beings.

The kid-focused role-playing game usurped a fellow Nintendo title to claim the sales throne, pushing the previous week's champ--Wii Fit Plus--down to the second spot with 152,587 sold. Nintendo also scored chart positions with its latest evergreen titles, the DS Tomodachi Collection (fifth place) and Wii Sports Resort (seventh).

Nintendo took up 40 percent of the top 10 just with its own published titles, a measure matched by its third-party publishers. Atlus' latest DS RPG, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, was a strong third place, selling 97,221 copies. Meanwhile, Level Five's Inazuma Eleven 2 continued its strong performance from the previous week, with the Fire and Blizzard variants of the game combining for fourth place, and Konami's Love Plus and Square Enix's Dragon Quest IX rounded out the list in the ninth and 10th spots, respectively.

Only two games unrelated to Nintendo and its systems appeared on the top 10 for the week, both of them for Sony's PSP. The handheld edition of Gran Turismo sped into sixth place, while Namco's Robotech game Macross Ultimate Frontier landed in eighth.

On the hardware side, numbers were down slightly across the board, but the order of systems remained the same. The DSi topped all comers with more than 50,000 sold, while the PSP notched a little over 40,000 and the PS3 and Wii fought over third place with less than 31,000 each.

JAPAN GAME SALES WEEK OF OCTOBER 5-11, 2009

Software:
Rank / Title / Publisher / Platform / Unit sales
1) Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver / Nintendo / DS / 188,625
2) Wii Fit Plus / Nintendo / Wii / 152,587
3) Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey / Atlus / DS / 97,221
4) Inazuma Eleven 2: Kyoui no Shinryokusha Fire and Blizzard / Level Five / DS / 95,515
5) Tomodachi Collection / Nintendo / DS / 62,772
6) Gran Turismo / SCE / PSP / 39,948
7) Wii Sports Resort / Nintendo / Wii / 24,130
8) Macross Ultimate Frontier / Namco / PSP / 18,804
9) Love Plus / Konami / DS / 18,777
10) Dragon Quest IX / Square Enix / DS / 15,961

Hardware:
DSi - 50,144
PSP - 40,100
PS3 - 30,896
Wii - 30,741
DS Lite - 5,454
Xbox 360 - 3,326
PS2 - 2,133

Discussion

69 comments
advocacy
advocacy

Nice work, SMT: Strange Journey!

ljobenza
ljobenza

@reczar: Why would Nintendo put their games on Sony's consoles?

reczar
reczar

is there no pokemon in psp??..wish to have one^^..just to try it..if it looks nice,,,

starduke
starduke

I wonder if they'll make another game like platnium, and emerald, after heartgold and soulsilver come out? Maybe I'll wait awhile before I buy either one of the new games.

madSomnambulist
madSomnambulist

At TGS a few weeks ago, industry software development head honchos were in complete agreement that the key to sustained company success in Japan was indeed targeted software. Most people in other markets don't realize how incredibly niche things can get. Japan is still an entirely relevant market to watch, as for the past 20 years it's been a solid predictor of how trends will spread worldwide. The 360 thing? Yes, it was impressive, but just as in the US there was no new competition. Note that all the seemingly Japan-targeted games of that era like the 360-exclusive RPGs have almost all already or are currently in the process to being brought to the PS3. It's basically an admission that companies forgot that's where the most revenue would be. That FFXIII has no 360 release in Japan is also a pretty clear indicator that confidence there has been lost. In the past few years solid strong developers based in the US or Europe have finally cemented themselves as viable trendsetters (EA, Activision, Rockstar), but it'll still be some time until they make up a solid majority of "where people look". Given the sales ratio of PS3 over the 360 in Japan is 10:1 now and all 10 top software sales are from Japanese developers, it'll clearly be even longer until a dent can be made there.

KillerWabbit23
KillerWabbit23

All I can say is, "Another one???" Not that Pokemon sucks, but it's getting old.

InZane4all
InZane4all

Them crazy Japenese and their Pokemon, lol...

prioritymail
prioritymail

Pokemon Gold/Silver was the best game in the series, I will most definitely buy the remake

joynul
joynul

yeh pokemon game for the wii please

germanqr
germanqr

@brendanhunt1 If you consider Europe as a single market, then yes Japan is third.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

germanqr isnt japan third what about europe

fmacraze
fmacraze

it's been so many years ago that gold and silver and crystal were out. now we're getting remakes. sounds cool

kca89
kca89

I haven't played a Pokemon game since Gold/Silver, since the last handheld I ever owned was the Gameboy. They need to release a real Pokemon game on the Wii. I'd pick it up in a heartbeat.

wahyudil
wahyudil

pokemon exclusive for wii ... if that gonna happen ...

germanqr
germanqr

@SalarianChemist: "The Japanese consumers are known for being too blindly-loyal to Japanese products, even if they cheat themselves out of the superior quality offered by a foreign product" You're not talking about PS3 vs XBOX360 here, are you? Superior quality? Seriously? Anyway, the key to success in Japan is, as you pointed out, GAMES, as is everywhere else. The difference lies in the very peculiar taste of Japanese gamers. The fact is that PS3 is the console of choice for Japan-centric Japanese developers, and that is why Sony one-ups MS in Japan. Catering to local tastes is crucial. You said it yourself: XBOX sales spiked whenever JRPGs were released on the console. Nothing to do with a supposed Japanese jingoism, and in fact MS have a quasi monopoly on PC OS, and Apple are leading the MP3 player market there, even with a myriad competitors there, including Sony's Walkman. Also, you claim that Japanese sales don't matter... 13.5 million 3rd gen consoles have been sold in Japan thus far, a 12% of the world's market share. That's the second largest market in the world, for you info.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

@monson21502 You are correct. The Japanese market is just so small for home consoles this generation that it essentially doesn't matter what happens in Japan. The Japanese consumers care far more about handheld consoles than anything else right now; that is for sure--as the sales figures for this generation have continuously proven. Microsoft is very pleased with the sales performance of the Xbox 360 in Japan this generation. Reaching the one-million sold milestone is an amazing achievement that Microsoft probably was not expecting. The fact that the Xbox 360 outsold the Playstation 3 in Japan from the summer of 2008 until the end of 2008 was incredibly impressive -- although the sales of the PS3 were not particularly high. Each time Xbox 360 saw the exclusive release of a JRPG series such as Infinite Undiscovery, Tales of Vesperia, The Last Remnant, and Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope, it caused a huge spike in Xbox 360 sales. Microsoft said from the very beginning that their goal in the Japanese market was not to "win" the sales war in Japan, simply because they knew it was not possible to release an American console in the Japanese market and achieve that kind of success. The Japanese consumers are known for being too blindly-loyal to Japanese products, even if they cheat themselves out of the superior quality offered by a foreign product. The success of Xbox 360 reaching over one-million consumers did exactly what Microsoft wanted it to do: provide leverage for the next Xbox console to build upon that success. When you look at how much more impressive sales of Xbox 360 are compared to the origional Xbox in Japan, you immediately realize that the next Xbox console will be in a position to compete for the #1 status from the start in Japan.

monson21502
monson21502

daabulls23 Posted Oct 17, 2009 2:10 am GMT DS STILL on top. I wonder what % of Japan has a DS? prolly not as much as you think. they like to collect all the colors of each ds. they also buy special bundles just for their fav game char on the ds.. ied say each japanese kid has aty least 3 ds lites and then rushed out and but a dsi also.

monson21502
monson21502

dang at the rate 360 is selling. it will pass the ps2 in sales about the same time as the ps3 will pass the 360 in usa sales.

ClintKeys
ClintKeys

@ayumi_miyazaki What games u have for your wii?

leeko_link
leeko_link

In Japan, there's only two candidates for success, Nintendo or Sony. It kinda makes you wish NEC made the PC-Engine 2 does it.

ayumi_miyazaki
ayumi_miyazaki

@clintkeys Thank you sir! Not everyone here is a hardcore gamer , the wii is my 1st console and I love it like many others do.but I do know history well , and I know 4 a fact that the famicom and super famicom did not sell as well as the wii. This is nintendo's highest selling home console ever in japan. Its breaking records like crazy there

ClintKeys
ClintKeys

@ayumi_miyazaki Of course the Wii/DS is going to win! Look at all the new good games coming out^^

gimgak
gimgak

poor Xbox in japan

daabulls23
daabulls23

DS STILL on top. I wonder what % of Japan has a DS?

ayumi_miyazaki
ayumi_miyazaki

Not really. #'s add up. All this profit will lead to bigger and better things later on (N6) no doubt

MATERAZZI_23
MATERAZZI_23

LoL@SalarianChemist I bet you won't be kissing Nintendo a$$ if MS comes out with a handheld platform!!!

ayumi_miyazaki
ayumi_miyazaki

But they do make better games, unfortuantly those games are not your cup of tea. Wii sports resort, wii fit plus, wii music, wii play , etc, etc. Those games have a HUGE fan base called casual gamers , they eat this stuff up. So gomenasai but your hardcore opinion doesn't count! Gomenasai

zestolime
zestolime

damn the ds lite still beats the 360 now thats just sad

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

Impressive numbers. If only Nintendo made better games for the wii, then it would monopolize the video game industry in Japan and make owners content with the company.

Vojkan80001
Vojkan80001

ayumi_miyazaki It is for sure for Nintendo ...pockets. They make more money then ever, but you know whats funny? Most of people that grew up playing hardcore games on Nintendo consoles have moved else where, on PS360. So to sum it up i couldn't care less what numbers Wii does, because it is irrelevant to my gaming taste and of so many others.

ayumi_miyazaki
ayumi_miyazaki

This means that the wii will win the console race, no doubt about that.2011yr will be the start of next gen, there's no way anybody will catch mario-link-and-samus home console. In portable land ninendo wins again! This is really a nintendo fans dream come true. This is probally nintendo's greatest generation EVER! ( Over the nes and snes days)

ClintKeys
ClintKeys

@CoolKidX It's because the DS got great games like Pokemon. Nintendo can be hardcore if you find the right games. Overall, Nintendo and Sony makes better hardware than Mircosoft.

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

japs sure like to play portable games. i like using TVs myself.

CorruptGamerGX
CorruptGamerGX

Aww, what's the matter? Now that Sony is dominating the console race in Japan you once again change the subject to something else. Too bad Salarian, 360 will get NO MORE pick me ups in Japan How right I was

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

Oh sweet Pokemon, I really want this game, Pokemon greatly deserves the top spot, differently than Wii Fit crap.

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

God dammit Nintendo i want Pokemon NOW not in april NOW

CoolKidX
CoolKidX

@whataguy69 Thats cuz Japan is Sony's and Nitendo's turf, DUURRRRRR.

CoolKidX
CoolKidX

@ClintKeys Cuz Nitendo games are owning half the list? .... Nitendo is so hardcore[/sarcasm].

ClintKeys
ClintKeys

This is why Japanese systems are the best!^^

monson21502
monson21502

poor 360. i would say once japanese that bought a 60 gig ps3 had to pay 200 bucks to get it fixed they would take a chance on 360. but not to many bought 60 gigs over at high prices for first year. there so they should be safe from ylod.

-TRAUMA-
-TRAUMA-

To all the people pointing out the sales figures of the PS3 and 360. Remember, this is Japan. Nintendo and Sony Funland basically...

FIRE-WARRI0R
FIRE-WARRI0R

@ Caer_Death It's probably a Japanese translation, so it's not going to make perfect sense to us.

Caer_Death
Caer_Death

I'm probably not the only one who thinks the names are stupid (HeartGold? SoulSilver? No space? What?). I mean, I'll probably play them eventually, but at least leafs ARE green (while... alive) and fire IS red (well, by large). Hearts are red, and souls don't actually exist, so they don't have a color. Gold and Silver are good enough on their own. Gold is gold and silver is silver. Or they could make Gold version the wizard of Oz and make Silver version the witch's slippers or something...

Setsuka13
Setsuka13

Yay! Finally! A Johto revamp!

teknicz
teknicz

And yet people continue to think Nintendo's doing something wrong.

shadowysea07
shadowysea07

wow didn't know pokemon silver was gonna be that popular. and just think the gb version was free after sending in a post card from the back of a fruit loops box XD. it will probably be a fun game but besides hooh i have all the pokemon from that region

whataguy69
whataguy69

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