Big in Japan Jan. 17-23: Kingdom Hearts PSP Final Mix

Rerelease of last year's Birth by Sleep with international version's extras tops the chart with ease; Monster Hunter Portable 3, Donkey Kong Country Returns take second, third again.

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It's not uncommon for a game to claim a spot atop Media Create's weekly Japanese sales charts more than once. It's a little bit more unusual for an entire year to pass between those stints as the country's reigning best seller.

After a year-long nap, Birth by Sleep is back on top.
After a year-long nap, Birth by Sleep is back on top.

However, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has accomplished that feat, albeit with an asterisk. The Final Mix release of the Square Enix role-playing game (a Japanese release of the international edition of the game) topped the sales charts for the week of January 17-23, 2011, with 77,317 copies sold. The original version of Birth by Sleep posted back-to-back weeks as the Japanese best seller, claiming the title from January 4-17, 2010.

Square Enix's rerelease was trailed by a pair of 2010 releases that were able to hold their ground on the charts. Capcom's multiplayer action game Monster Hunter Portable 3 was a distant second for the week, selling 43,196. That was more than double the total of the third-place finisher, Donkey Kong Country for the Wii.

Beyond Birth by Sleep Final Mix, the only new releases for the week to make the top 10 were a pair of portable offerings from Namco Bandai. The publisher's giant monster action game Kaijuu Busters Powered for the DS took fourth place with 17,989 copies sold, while the PSP strategy game Venus & Braves rounded out the top 10 with 10,563 units sold.

Bolstered by a pair of games in the first and second spots for the week, Sony's PSP also topped the hardware chart for the week, with 35,636 systems sold. Although it lacked a top 10 representative on the software side, the PlayStation 3 took second in the hardware race with 23,792 new owners added to the user base. However, it wasn't all good news for the electronics giant, as the PSP Go struggled even more than usual for the week, selling just 198 systems.

As for Nintendo's hardware performance, the Wii came in third with 14,547 systems sold, while anticipation for next month's Japanese launch of the 3DS may be undercutting sales of Nintendo's existing portables. The DSi LL came in fourth place (11,720 sold), with the DSi (8,990 sold) taking fifth. The legacy DS Lite sold worse than the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 2, selling just 1,528 systems.

JAPAN GAME SALES WEEK OF JANUARY 17-23, 2011
Software:
Rank / Title / Publisher / Platform / Unit sales
1. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (Final Mix) / Square Enix / PSP / 77,317
2. Monster Hunter Portable 3 / Capcom / PSP / 43,196
3. Donkey Kong Country Returns / Nintendo / Wii / 20,411
4. Kaijuu Busters Powered / Namco Bandai / DS / 17,989
5. AKB1/48: Idol to Koishitara… / Namco Bandai / PSP / 12,765
6. Ninokuni: Shikkoku no Madoushi/ Level Five / DS / 12,608
7. Inazuma Eleven 3: Sekai e no Chousen! The Ogre / Level Five / DS / 12,386
8. Pokemon Black and White / The Pokemon Company / DS / 12,115
9. Wii Party / Nintendo / Wii / 10,625
10. Venus & Braves: Majo to Megami to Horobi no Yogen / Namco Bandai / PSP / 10,563

Hardware:
PSP - 35,636
PS3 - 23,792
Wii - 14,547
DSi LL - 11,720
DSi - 8,990
Xbox 360 - 2,338
PS2 - 1,836
DS Lite - 1,528
PSP Go - 198

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