Big in Japan Sept. 13-19: Pokemon Black and White

Nintendo's latest monster-hunting RPG dominates with 2.6 million sold in debut; Front Mission Evolved beats Halo: Reach in first-week sales.

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Earlier this week, Enterbrain already confirmed what many would have assumed: The Japanese DS debut for Pokemon Black and White was hugely successful. So while the pair's combined sales of nearly 2.6 million was certain to land it atop Media Create's Japanese sales charts for the week of September 13-19, the remainder of the top 10 held some interesting results.

Pokemon Black and White cast a large shadow over the Japanese sales charts.
Pokemon Black and White cast a large shadow over the Japanese sales charts.

Chief among those was Square Enix's Front Mission Evolved, which placed second on the chart in its week of release. The game marks a drastic departure for the series, as it featured 3D shooter mechanics rather than the turn-based tactics for which the Front Mission series had been known. Development duties for Front Mission Evolved were entrusted to California-based Double Helix, which previously offered a Western spin on an Eastern franchise with 2008's Silent Hill: Homecoming. While Front Mission Evolved couldn't hold a candle to the Pokemon launches, the game's 51,084-selling debut was enough to stave off two other big new releases, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tag Force 5 for the PSP (third place with 45,879 sold) and Halo: Reach (fourth place with 44,413 sold).

There was one other new release on the charts, Nippon Ichi Software's latest strategy role-playing game Blue Roses. Wii Party was the best-selling catalog title of the week, finishing fifth overall and adding another 36,547 copies to its sales total. The Monster Hunter spin-off MonHun Nikki and Super Mario Galaxy 2 also continued to make their presences felt, as the former finished sixth with 28,627 sold, and the latter rounded out the top 10 with 8,178 sold.

The Pokemon Black and White launches helped push DS hardware in a big way, as Nintendo had a handheld top the sales of Sony's PSP for the first time since the week of July 5-11. The standard DSi was the best-selling system of all, with 47,379 sold. The DSi LL (DSi XL in the West) was next on the list, adding 31,254 to its installed base. The Xbox 360 received a smaller bump from the Halo: Reach launch, selling 5,804 units and topping the 3,000 mark for the first time in four weeks.

JAPAN GAME SALES WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 13-19, 2010
Software:
Rank / Title / Publisher / Platform / Unit sales
1. Pokemon Black and White / The Pokemon Company / DS / 2,557,779
2. Front Mission Evolved / Square Enix / PS3 / 51,084
3. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tag Force 5 / Konami / PSP / 45,879
4. Halo: Reach / Microsoft / X360 / 44,413
5. Wii Party / Nintendo / Wii / 36,547
6. MonHun Nikki: Poka Poka Ailu Mura / Capcom / PSP / 28,627
7. One Piece: Gigant Battle / Namco Bandai / DS / 28,123
8. Blue Roses: Yousei to Aoi Hitomi no Senshitachi / Nippon Ichi / PSP / 9,846
9. Taiko no Tatsujin DS: Dororon! Youkai Daikessen!! / Namco Bandai / DS / 8,729
10. Super Mario Galaxy 2 / Nintendo / Wii / 8,178

Hardware:
DSi - 47,379
DSi LL - 31,254
PSP - 29,866
PS3 - 21,096
Wii - 14,833
DS Lite - 7,137
Xbox 360 - 5,804
PS2 - 1,390
PSP Go - 863

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