News Article

Monster Hunter 4 Dominates in Japan as The Wind Waker HD Has a Modest Debut

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

No notable hardware boost for Wii U

Monster Hunter 4 has successfully maintained its momentum in the Japanese charts this week, remaining at the top of the software list despite a range of new releases arriving in stores. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD also arrived on 26th September, but despite some figures within Nintendo's departments in the West describing the title as resembling a new triple-A Zelda — disregarding its remake status — it's failed to set the software charts alight.

The top 20 is below, with lifetime sales in parenthesis.

1. [3DS] Monster Hunter 4 – 213,078 (2,402,077)
2. [PSV] The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki – 81,622 (New)
3. [PS3] Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate – 80,498 (New)
4. [PS3] The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki – 67,718 (New)
5. [PS3] Armored Core: Verdict Day – 59,184 (New)
6. [PS3] Oreimo Happy End – 31,054 (New)
7. [Wii U] The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD – 30,264 (New)
8. [PSV] Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate – 25,483 (New)
9. [3DS] Tomodachi Collection: New Life – 9,269 (1,450,520)
10. [PS3] Battle Princess of Arcadias – 9,252 (New)
11. [3DS] Yokai Watch – 8,578 (187,825)
12. [3DS] Disney Magic Castle: My Happy Life – 7,575 (278,559)
13. [3DS] Animal Crossing: New Leaf – 7,431 (3,425,003)
14. [3DS] Mario & Luigi: Dream Team – 7,361 (318,600)
15. [PS3] Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – 6,866 (216,156)
16. [PSP] Starry Sky: After Winter Portable – 6,074 (New)
17. [PSP] Meiji Tokyo Renka – 5,963 (New)
18. [3DS] Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion – 5,569 (New)
19. [360] Armored Core: Verdict Day – 5,088 (New)
20. [3DS] Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – 5,007 (906,547)

In the hardware stakes, last week brought another dominant performance from the 3DS, unsurprisingly dipping slightly but still shifting a lot more units than all other systems combined. The fortunes of the Wii U didn't fare well, however, failing to achieve any notable increase in sales despite the arrival of The Wind Waker HD; last week's sales are in parenthesis, below.

3DS LL – 93,757 (118,400)
3DS – 40,487 (40,988)
PlayStation 3 – 11,382 (10,749)
PlayStation Vita – 6,031 (5,155)
Wii U – 5,909 (5,824)
PSP – 4,805 (5,082)
Wii – 866 (965)
Xbox 360 – 511 (610)

It's a case of as-you-were for the 3DS and Capcom's franchise, but we suspect there'll be real disappointment at the failure of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD to make a notable impact on either the software or hardware charts.


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User Comments (79)



Emblem said:

Zelda has always done better in the west then Japan so i'm not surprised, especially since its up against MH4. I'm more interested in the US and UK Zelda sales numbers and Wii U sales. Though the US sales will be messed up by the early digital release.



AdanVC said:

Hey but Wind Waker on 7th place is not bad at all considering there's still not a huge Wii U users base! I believe it would do better in Europe and America because of the price-drop. Let's hope next week can be higher, this game and Wii U really desserve it. 3DS on the other hand... it's higher than the Mount Everest! And is going to be even higher with Pokémon X/Y next week. Damn!



Ernest_The_Crab said:

Well I doubt a remake will make the console sales "skyrocket" especially when Zelda isn't that popular in Japan anyways. Not to mention, the game has been available on the eShop for awhile now.

Didn't they say there wouldn't be a price cut for Japan? That means none of this can be attributed to waiting for a price cut.



Ryno said:

Nintendo needs to make a new Monster Hunter style game for Wii U stat!



Quickman said:

Japan really isn’t a good indicator, home console sales have been on the decline, the Wii and PS3 only sold around 9M units each over there and Sony are even releasing the PS4 later in Japan as Europe and the US are the main markets these days.



Dreamcaster-X said:

Portables RULE the roost in Japan. EVERYBODY plays them, it's an entirely different culture, they're way more about local multiplayer games than segregated online games that are popular here in America or Europe. This is another reason why Sony was wise to delay the Japanese PS4 launch to shore up more systems in the rest of the world where consoles sell well.



Peach64 said:

Those are pretty decent figures for Zelda. What are people expecting from it? It was hardly a huge seller the first time around, and surely less people would want it now.



nik1470 said:

So a third of Pikmin week one sales that's a little bit disapointing. I hope it does better in the US and Europe!



unrandomsam said:

@Ernest_The_Crab It is not unpopular. The 3DS remake of Ocarina has sold more copies in Japan than Europe. The original release of Windwaker sold 9/10's of the amount sold in the whole of Europe in Japan. A Link to the Past (Best Zelda) sold more in Japan than Europe.



Dreamcaster-X said:

@nik1470 It's already selling EXTREMELY well digitally here in the U.S. as can be witnessed by the Miiverse community for it & it's only gonna get bigger once Friday rolls around. I'm glad I waited for the disc version, with everyone ordering digital there's just that many fewer copies in the wild.



Tsuchinoko said:

As a longtime Japanese resident, I can vouch for those comments. Nearly everyone I know that plays games, either casually or regularly, either owns a 3DS or Vita. Everyday I see them on the train, or at restaurants, if I just want to the nearest train station or supermarket I can get 10 streetpasses easily. Its a huge market for handhelds, thats one of the big reasons that Monster Hunter and other franchises are selling so big. Capcom was very wise to put that series on the 3DS.
I always had hoped that the Wind Waker remake would be a 3DS game. Though it wouldn't have been as pretty, it would have reached a wider audience here.
I'm sure it will sell much bigger overseas. It has nothing to do with Zelda's popularity, its about the hardware. Pikmin 3 isn't even on the chart, but Luigi's Mansion 2 Tomodachi Collection, and Animal Crossing are, and those games have been out longer.



theblackdragon said:

@Tsuchinoko: from prior comments, @-KwB- seems to be referring to why the Wii U seems to be doing poorly in Japan's charts. I'm fairly sure that was an off-the-cuff expression of exasperation, not anything directed toward you personally.



Dreamcaster-X said:

Yeah look at the big picture...9 of the top 20 games are on a Nintendo System. That's VERY good numbers.



Jazzer94 said:

I myself never thought WWHD would be able to move a large number of units in any territory, Wii U's success will be determined by Nintendo looking to the future not the past.



Dreamcaster-X said:

@nik1470 Yep!! Nintendo 1st party titles tend to hold their value anyway but throw in fewer physical copies to the mix & late bloomers could be in for a rude awakening. Hell, even Splinter Cell for Wii U was hard to find at retail. LOL. Wonderful 101 is another game that I think will be tough to get hold of one day. They just didn't print that many copies & I'm amazed how many Wii U owners download titles. I never would have guessed it.



Vee_Flames said:

Whew. TBH, I'm very much satisfied with 3DS. It's just unstoppable! And X and Y....

Waiting for the day Wii U sales soar ANYWHERE.



RedRocBoy said:

If they made a Monster Hunter title built from the ground up for the Wii U not a HD port. Even though I wouldn't mind MH4 Ultimate a exclusive Wii U title would kill in Japan and around the world.



XFsWorld said:

Zelda always did better in US, then UK, and lastly no surprise.



zool said:

I think maybe the price has something to do with it. Well in might do if it is a similar price to here in the UK. £45.00 (about $73.00).

A top end price for what is an old game that has had a make over. It is released here in two days but I won't be buying it. I can afford it, but it's not worth the money.

Anyone buying a new Wii U is getting the game pre-loaded for free. Because a black Wii U is selling for the same price as one with Zelda installed.

This is a marketing ploy to try and sell the Wii U by offering a 'full priced' game pre installed, but of course it is not really a full priced game at all. It is a ten year old game that has had a make over.

Similar to the film industry re releasing a movie and calling it 'the directors cut' Same film with some bit off the cutting room floor added.

At least if the Wind Waker is being given away, as an incentive to sell the Wii U, then existing Wii U owners should get a discount.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@unrandomsam One of them was due to it being on a portable. The other was back in the time when the Japanese market didn't have such a huge preference towards portable gaming devices vs home consoles.

Let me rephrase that then, if the Zelda game is not on a portable and not during a period of time when mobile devices were so prevalent (hence this rules out Twilight Princess as well) it will generally not be popular in Japan.

HOWEVER, I did mention there was a good chance it was due to the game being available for download much earlier. It's also possible that the Gamecube had a bigger fanbase at the time of Wind Waker's release not to mention Nintendo games generally have long legs in terms of sales so the numbers for Gamecube's Wind Waker aren't exactly fair numbers to use.



Nintenjoe64 said:

It's not surprising that the discerning Japanese public want a bit more than a 10 year old remake to make them go out and buy a brand new console.



TruenoGT said:

I echo thoughts that a remake is not a good indicator of success, but I think if Mario 3D World fails to make an impact, then I'm not sure what will. Outside of a non-MMO Dragon Quest sequel or a Wii Sports kind of "lightning in a bottle" game, I'm not sure what would push home consoles in Japan anymore.

Any ideas?



MikeLove said:

Rayman Legends....
Pikmin 3....
Wonderful 101....

And now we can also add The Windwaker to the list of games that were supposed to be 'system sellers' but didn't do squat!



Nintenjoe64 said:

I think it needs to hit that tipping point of good games to make it a valid option but Smash and Mario Kart are sooooooo long away.

Pikmin 3 did sell systems in Japan, just not very many.

Regarding WWHD, it seems to have had a fair few download customers in Japan but they already had Wii Us so it's of no help to the Wii U.



cookiex said:

If there's any consolation, WiiU saw a 128% sales boost in NA on the week of the price cut and WWHD's digital arrival.

EDIT: And I have to agree with some saying that WWHD was never going to sell all too well in Japan. Remember that Skyward Sword tanked in the region.



DualWielding said:

when monster hunter G releases the Vita would get enough sales in Japan to match the worldwide sales of the Wii U



Die2Distroy said:

I've heard that the Wii U sold over 21k units in America thanks to the Wind Waker Bundle, personally I think this Zelda Game will do better in the west with those sales when the Retail Version releases. I don't think that OoT: 3D did well in Japan either. Got sales info from vgchartz



Ralizah said:

Nintendo isn't stupid. They undoubtedly have several system-selling titles in the works. Unfortunately, the promise of good software support in the future does not sell too many consoles in the present.



TromaDogg said:

A remake is a remake is a remake. No matter how much people love The Wind Waker, it's still a case of 'been there, done that'. It was never going to significantly boost Wii U sales. The real pickup will start once Mario 3D World, and more importantly Mario Kart hit the shelves.



micronean said:

Portables will always sell better in Japan because A) they can be sold individually to each person. B) because it's the system that adults buy for themselves. In Japan, adults don't play home systems nearly as much as they do portables. Obviously this is from the fact that they are almost never home. They're either working or commuting for 12 hours each day.
In North America, adults have more "down time" at home, so they are more able to play their home consoles. That's a bit of a difference in markets.



micronean said:

Also, here in Japan, Windwaker HD was not marketed with any significance. No ads to speak of, definitely no bundles, and no retail displays at all from Nintendo. It was just another title quietly placed on shelves. I figure it was because so many people had already bought the gamecube in japan compared to other markets, that there is hardly any new players. In North America, Gamecube sales were pretty dead, and so there are proportionally more people who are playing Windwaker for the first time (myself included, as I was a PS2 owner back then).



cookiex said:


Dead? NA was Gamecube's strongest market. The GC Wind Waker sold in the US almost three times as much as it did in EU and Japan.



thesilverbrick said:

Can we pause for a minute and scratch our heads at how long Animal Crossing has been in the top 20? It's been out for nearly a whole year in Japan now and it's still selling wildly well. Crazy stuff...



hylianhalcyon said:

Even though Zelda does better outside of Japan, I still really don't expect it to move many units. The game may sell alright, but a remake isn't going to sell many more consoles.



TrueGamer1985 said:

@Senario Really I liked it and I don't see a problem with the game besides of being on an another console which I see a problem with yours. If you was a "real" fan of Monster Hunter you would play the series regardless of what console its on.



Senario said:

@TrueGamer1985 Except it is not the same. It is structured as an MMO and is way more grindy than monster hunter should be. If it was portable 4th I might be considering it but as it is it is a no buy for me. Don't give me that crap that I won't buy it simply because of being on another platform. That game is also coming to the wii U and I am not getting it. Not once did I say that I won't be buying it because it is on vita. I won't be buying it because the frontier series is simply not that good, the same way that even if you may be a paper mario fan but you did not buy sticker star. Just being a fan of something doesn't mean I buy it all regardless of quality. Monster hunter 4 or bust.



TG1 said:

Give it time ... The original GC version was a huge seller the first time around, and this HD version will probably be also. It'll keep selling over the life of the console.



jayclayx said:

I wonder why so many people are shocked by the low sales WWHD is having in Japan, many years ago zelda stopped being a bulckbuster in Japan, skyward sword didnt sold well compare with America and Europe pplus is a remake this is totally understandable.



JaxonH said:

No, none of those games were "supposed" to be system sellers. Desperate people just had delusions that every time a new game released it would be a system seller. Consoles don't always need a magic bullet. Besides, even the biggest magic bullet possible, would still only account for a million or two sales at best, which isn't much in the bigger picture.

A console's ability to "sell", is almost always determined by an impressive aggregate of titles on the system, not one game that magically makes everyone in the world suddenly want the console. To reach that point, it sometimes takes 2 or more years, after which, enough remarkable titles are available that the public begins to take notice.

Do not count on the next Wii U release to be a system seller, and then make snide remarks that "yet another supposed system seller disappoints". No. That's not how it works. I know it's how many would LIKE it to work, but that just doesn't mesh with reality. Around Christmas 2014, we can start looking at sales numbers and expect substantial increases. Not weeks from now when the next game on the release schedule hits.



JaxonH said:

Looking at Japan's top 20, I'm suddenly concerned that the country wouldn't know a great game if it fell out of the sky and landed in their sushi bowl. Disney Magic Castle and Epic Mickey... are you serious? Yet Rayman Legends and Wonderful 101 are nowhere in sight?!! And why oh why are there MULTIPLE PSP games in that list. It's like the entire country is stuck in a time-warp and refuses to acknowledge the present.



MAB said:

5000+ a week for WiiU in Japan isn't that bad really... If it was selling like the Xbox 360 then I would be concerned



Caryslan said:

@JaxonH Because the PSP is still a pretty popular system over there. Japan was the PSP's biggest market, and the key reason it was so successful. As long as it gets games that people want to play, it will keep charting. What do you expect them to do, toss out their PSPs and go buy a Vita?

The PS3 and Xbox 360 will likely keep charting here in the west even after the PS4 and Xbox One release. It generally takes several years for older systems that are popular to stop appearing in sales charts. Keep in mind millions of people still own PSPs in Japan, so there is big shocker that games would still chart for the system.

It may be in its twilight years, but the PSP still has some support over there.

Are you going to be shocked when PS3 and Xbox 360 games chart for a couple of years after the PS4 and Xbox One launch? It often takes a few years for the newer systems to displace the older ones. Look at how long the PS2 managed to stay in the charts even after the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 came out.

It's not about people being stuck in a time warp, its about people supporting a console that they likely already own.



Will-75 said:

Wii U needs Monster Hunter 4 if Nintendo would have bundled a Wii U version like they did with MH3 Ultimate the Wii U would have sold out in Japan.



Zael said:

It is difficult for a remake to have great sales, we are also talking about a console with 3,5 mln owners.
And we are talking about onlly few days on market
We have to wait for christmas to have a complete vision of zelda ww sales
Monster hunter 4 is a brand new title and there are 35 mln 3ds on earth



Ducutzu said:


"A console's ability to "sell", is almost always determined by an impressive aggregate of titles on the system, not one game that magically makes everyone in the world suddenly want the console. To reach that point, it sometimes takes 2 or more years, after which, enough remarkable titles are available that the public begins to take notice."

That is a brilliant observation.

The same happened with the Nintendo 3DS. For two years, all you could read on the web was how the 3DS has "no games". Then, suddenly, the 3DS had "all these great games". Almost every new release would sell amazingly well: "Luigi's Mansion 2" and "Animal Crossing" were big hits.

In the first two years of the system, there were virtually no system sellers for the 3DS. Not even StarFox and Ocarina of Time. But those games were important additions to create this library that would finally entice people to buy the console.

As you observed, these days the "system seller" games tend to happen only after there are enough games out there to cover a wide range of play styles and interests.

It's likely that the same will happen for the Wii U. The "no games" moaning will continue well into the next year. Games will be released and will fail to make a significant impact. After a certain point, games like Zelda Wind Waker, Lego City, Wonderful 101, Wii Fit U and the rest will accumulate into this critical mass... and then most new releases will launch as straight hits.

So "Pikmin 3" and "Wonderful 101" will never sell more copies than in the first week after their release. But these games are "out there" now, and they are crucial.

The new users in 2014 will buy the console and think - "one day, I'll get to play Wind Walker, Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101". In reality, they will only purchase the new releases that make the news. But the library needs to be there before the new releases will start to sell really well.



yuwarite said:

Oreimo Happy End at No. 6? Japanese hardcore gamers must be so embarrassed of their country right now.



Kirk said:

"The Wind Waker HD Has a Modest Debut"

Told you it wasn't a system seller...because it's just an HD update of a ten year old frikin GC game!

It's a very good quality HD update but it's for the fanboys mostly.



Platinumhobo said:

Personally I think WWHD came out to close to a brand new Zelda title. For example, as the end of September rolled around I realized "crap, I'll only have enough money and time to play Pokemon in October. Oh well, i guess I'll just skip on WWHD and get LBW the following month."
With like a literal 2 seconds of thought I came to a conclusion that would make me pass on it. WWHD should have come out during the summer.



Mahe said:

Wind Waker HD is a complete flop. And Nintendo claimed it would be a "system seller". What were they thinking?



TheAdrock said:

We'll see. I've been trying to buy the spec edition with Ganon toy at Gamestop but they A) have no idea what I'm talking about, and B) after I explain to them WTF it is, they tell me that its out of stock. They're listed on eBay for between $150-$500.



feelthesarcasm said:

Unfortunately windwaker will be blown away next weekend with Pokemon.

I don't think WW is coming out too close to ALBW because it's on a different system. I just don't think it was the kind of zelda game people wanted. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 was an HD remake of a two 10 year old games and it sold like hotcakes. I always thought people were more excited for SM3DWorld, Sonic Lost World and DK (before the delay) over WW anyway and it was more of a "I'll pick it up eventually" games than "I need it right now!"



zool said:

Ocarina of Time was a remake for the 3DS and a very good remake. One of the best 3Ds games so far.

Wii U Wind Waker is a Game Cube game that has had a makeover. Nothing wrong with that. I would like to see more Game Cube games given the same treatment, that would be an ideal solution to have while we are waiting for more new Nintendo games, but the price has to be a lot less that a new game.



withoutdk said:

we preordered the limited edition as soon as we could... and when we can afford it we will buy another console.. just to get the zelda editon console

this is sad news really.. i hoped for a change for the wii u.. now it seems even further away

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