Big in Japan April 11-17: Super Robot Taisen

Namco's latest mech battle royale for PSP leads packed slate of new releases on Japanese sales charts; Homefront and Pilotwings Resort debut as 3DS retakes hardware lead from PSP.

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Media Create's Japanese sales charts for the week of April 11-17 saw a significant amount of turnover, with new releases accounting for seven of the top 10 games. The only remaining games from the previous week's chart were Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 Professional, Earth Defense Force 2 Portable, and the tenacious Dynasty Warriors 7 (which clung to the 10th spot in its sixth week on the charts).

Not even a super deformed art style can make the iconic stars of Super Robot Taisen less recognizable.
Not even a super deformed art style can make the iconic stars of Super Robot Taisen less recognizable.

As for the newcomers to the chart, they were led by Namco's latest super deformed giant robot battle royale, Dai-2-Ji Super Robot Taisen Z Hakai-hen, which sold 307,019 copies in its debut. The latest installment in the long-running turn-based strategy series features dozens of mechs licensed from popular franchises like Gundam, Mazinger Z, Macross, and Big O. The series is not entirely unknown in the West, as Atlus has localized previous "Original Generation" installments--created with generic mechs to avoid licensing issues--for Nintendo's portable systems, most recently with 2009's DS game Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier.

Three more spots in the top 10 were claimed by various versions of Konami's new release, Pro Baseball Spirits 2011. The PlayStation 3, PSP, and 3DS versions of the publisher's long-running baseball series ranked second, fourth, and ninth on the charts, respectively. Combined, the three games sold nearly 170,000 copies.

The remaining newcomers to the chart may be a bit more familiar internationally. Nintendo's Pilotwings Resort for the 3DS made its debut in sixth place, followed by THQ's first-person shooter Homefront in seventh. Atlus' well-regarded Persona series of role-playing games also produced a new chart topper, as the PSP remake of the 1999 PlayStation role-playing game Persona 2: Tsumi debuted in fifth place.

New also trumped old on the hardware side of the charts, as Nintendo's 3DS bested the PSP--28,252 units sold to 23,846 units sold--after Sony's handheld posted back-to-back weeks as the best-selling system. Prior to that, the 3DS had locked down the top spot on the hardware charts for six weeks, dating back to its February Japanese launch. The PlayStation 3 took its increasingly common third place position, selling 22,265 systems, falling behind the main handhelds but well ahead the 8,122 sold by its closest competition, the Nintendo Wii. Sony's PSP Go, which was discontinued in Japan this week, limped its way toward the end of its lifespan, selling 207 units for the week.

JAPAN GAME SALES WEEK OF APRIL 11-17
Software:
Rank / Title / Publisher / Platform / Unit sales
1. Dai-2-Ji Super Robot Taisen Z Hakai-hen / Namco / PSP / 307,019
2. Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 / Konami / PS3 / 86,486
3. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 Professional / Square Enix / DS / 86,364
4. Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 / Konami / PSP / 71,264
5. Persona 2: Tsumi / Atlus / PSP / 62,761
6. Pilotwings Resort / Nintendo / 3DS / 26,554
7. Homefront / Spike / PS3 / 22,111
8. Earth Defense Force 2 Portable / D3Publisher / PSP / 16,898
9. Pro Baseball Spirits 2011 / Konami / 3DS / 11,644
10. Dynasty Warriors 7 / Koei Tecmo / PS3 / 10,369

Hardware:
3DS - 28,252
PSP - 23,846
PS3 - 22,265
Wii - 8,122
DSi LL - 7,724
DSi - 6,809
Xbox 360 - 1,898
PS2 - 1,261
DS Lite - 423
PSP Go - 207

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