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.
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.