Japan game charts: September 25-October 1

Japan's most popular game franchise meets Japan's most popular handheld: Pokémon Diamond and Pearl rock top 10 with monster sales.


A new pair of Pokémon titles--dubbed Diamond and Pearl--hit Japan on September 28, creating huge lines and waits of up to five hours in Tokyo, as fans mobbed the stores. Today's weekly software ranking from Media Create underscores the immensity of the Pokémon effect on Japan's game market.

According to Media Create's figures, in their first week, these two games moved 1,588,734 copies combined--820,047 for Diamond and 768,687 for Pearl. To put this in perspective, sales of the other eight top games combined came to 429,008 units, or a skosh over half of Diamond's sales.

This huge injection of Pokémon purchases boosted weekly top 100 software sales to 219.29 percent of the weekly average. Although on the high end, Media Create notes that Diamond and Pearl's sales figures are par for the course. January 2004's Fire Red and Leaf Green also did well their first week, selling 517,874 and 495,245 copies respectively. Emerald also did rather well, moving 790,527 units during its debut week.

In other news, the PlayStation 2 saw its slice of the top-10 pie dwindle, with just three games making the grade. The latest .hack title moved 122,800 copies to land at third place and Minna no Tennis, last week's top game, scored another 68,755 sales, allowing it to ace New Super Mario Bros.

The PS2's only other offering, coming in at number nine, was Koei's Romance of the Three Kingdoms 11. This game marries classical Chinese story of the Han Dynasty with strategic and role-playing elements, and the franchise has long been a staple of both strategy and history buffs throughout Asia.

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