Big in Japan May 11-17: Bleach PSP heats up sales charts

Anime-based fighter manages to sell 41,000 despite widespread game sales slowdown; Growlanser PSP, Winning Eleven Wii also make debuts.


After seeing recent games like Monster Hunter G on the Wii and Pokemon Fushigi no Dungeon easily sell in the six-figure range for their debut weeks, the Japanese game market hit a mid-May rough patch. For the week of May 11-17, the best-selling game on Media Create's Japanese sales charts was the PSP anime fighter Bleach: Heat the Soul 6, which garnered a respectable 41,600 copies.


However, after Bleach, the drop-off in sales was fairly precipitous. Another new PSP release, a 10th anniversary remake of the PlayStation role-playing game Growlanser, came in second with sales of 23,000. Other new releases did not fare so well, with Konami's Winning Eleven Playmaker 2009 for the Wii (Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 in some markets) netting sales of 14,200, and Tecmo's video gambling title Rakushou Pachisuro Sengen 6 Rio 2 Cruising Vanadise (PS2) rounding out the top 10 with 9,100 sold.

In terms of older games, Nintendo's evergreen strategy is apparently paying off in Japan as well as the US. Wii Fit (released in late 2007 in Japan) managed to sell 10,700 copies, while February's Mario & Luigi RPG 3 racked up sales of 10,000. The DS maker also found continued success with the aforementioned Pokemon Fushigi no Dungeon (15,600 sold) and WarioWare Myself (15,200).

Nintendo's success wasn't limited to software. The DSi topped a soft week for hardware sales with 34,200 sold, while the Wii was the best-selling console of the week with consumers picking up 15,100 systems. Sony was a close second in both races, with the PSP moving 28,700 units for the week, and the PlayStation 3 selling through 11,600. It was a particularly rough week for Microsoft, as the Xbox 360's sales of just 3,200 systems fell behind both the DS Lite (4,900) and the PlayStation 2 (4,020).

Week of May 11-17, 2009
1) Bleach: Heat the Soul 6 (PSP) - 41,600
2) Growlanser (PSP) - 23,000
3) Dragon Ball Kai: Saiyajin Raishuu (DS) - 20,300
4) Pokemon Fushigi no Dungeon (DS) - 15,600
5) WarioWare Myself (DS) - 15,200
6) Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) - 15,200
7) Winning Eleven Playmaker 2009 (Wii) - 14,200
8) Wii Fit (Wii) - 10,700
9) Mario & Luigi RPG 3 (DS) - 10,000
10) Rakushou Pachisuro Sengen 6 Rio 2 Cruising Vanadise (PS2) - 9,100

DSi 34,200
PSP 28,700
Wii 15,100
PS3 11,600
DS Lite 4,900
PS2 4,020
Xbox 360 3,200

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