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Nintendo Dominates Japanese Charts Over Holiday Period

3DS and Wii U both put in a strong performance on home soil.

By Pete Davison. Published 3 months ago

2013 was a bit of a rough year for Nintendo's new home console the Wii U, while the handheld 3DS performed consistently strongly. But sales figures from the Christmas period in Japan suggest that things could be picking up for the troubled console alongside its portable sibling.

Famitsu has reported the multi-format sales figures for Japan between December 23-29. And it's a big win for Nintendo on all counts: not only were the 3DS and the Wii U the best and second best-selling systems for that week, but eight out of the top ten software titles for the week were for Nintendo platforms, with the two exceptions being the PS3 and Vita versions of the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster package, selling 182,638 and 134,645 copies respectively, putting them in third and fifth place for the week.

Link's newest adventure sold nearly a quarter of a million copies in just three days.

3DS still dominated utterly, however, with 208,893 units sold compared to Wii U's 79,174. Sony's Vita, meanwhile, was snapping at Wii U's heels with 75,207 sales. It's also worth noting that neither the PlayStation 4 nor the Xbox One have been released in Japan as yet, meaning that the Wii U's only current competition in the TV-connected console market is from the seven-year old PlayStation 3, the previous-generation Wii, the handful of Xbox 360 sales Japan clings on to each week and the few PlayStation 2s that are still being sold. It will be interesting to see how the troubled console performs once the "next gen" gets well and truly underway in Japan -- or indeed if Japan takes to the PS4 and the Xbox One at all, both of which appear to have been designed with a very "Western" mindset about them.

In software sales, the top-selling game in Japan over the Christmas period was new 3DS Zelda game Link Between Worlds with 225,418 sales in the space of about three days, followed by the 3DS adaptation of GungHo's popular mobile game Puzzle & Dragons Z with 198,968. Pokémon X and Y on 3DS, meanwhile, notched up 156,483 sales.

Three Wii U titles appear in the lower half of the top 10, with Wii Party U (87,262 sold), New Super Mario Bros. U (75,131 sold) and Super Mario 3D World (71,159) all performing strongly. Monster Hunter 4 on 3DS is hanging in there in 9th place with 40,338 sales, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf is still selling reasonably well, with 37,300 copies sold over the holiday season.

The best community comments so far 3 comments

  • Stealth20k 3 months ago

    The Wii U still is competing with Vita and 3DS. I have never bought the idea that console owners dont consider portables when making purchases.

    PS3 even when it was new never really lit Japan on fire and I suspect the price of both new consoles will be a major factor

  • docexe 3 months ago

    The Wii U seems to indeed have experienced a moderate recovery on this holiday period. Is still far from the PS4 and XBOne numbers, and is still too early to say that the console is “saved” (for all that we know, sales will plummet once again on January). But it’s nice to see some respite after how bad this year has been for it. And despite its less than spectacular initial reception, Mario 3D World is keeping steady and might indeed have long legs.

    Hopefully they will have Mario Kart 8 ready at March so they can keep some of that momentum.

  • Duskblayde 3 months ago

    It will certainly be interesting to see what happens when the PS4 and Xbox One release in Japan... not that I expect the Xbox One to do better than its predecessor.

    It will also be interesting to see what happens when Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros release.

    Let's see what happens.

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