News Article

3DS Faces a Renewed Vita Challenge in Japan as Home Consoles Underperform

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

3DS software continues strong run

It's Wednesday, so it's Media Create Japanese charts day. After a 2013 where each week could roughly be summarised as "3DS crushing all in its way", this year is shaping up to be a more competitive, dynamic contest.

To begin with software, top spot is taken by PS Vita newcomer Soul Sacrifice Delta, an expanded and improved version of the original. There's still plenty of good news for 3DS software in a week with no new releases, with Level-5's Yokai Watch continuing a strong run alongside its TV show and Dragon Quest Monsters 2: Iru and Luca's Wonderful Mysterious Keys showing solid momentum; Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the sole Wii U entry in 15th place. The top 20 is below, with lifetime sales in parenthesis.

1. [PSV] Soul Sacrifice Delta – 48,786 (New)
2. [3DS] Yokai Watch – 36,018 (532,472)
3. [3DS] Dragon Quest Monsters 2: Iru and Luca’s Wonderful Mysterious Keys – 31,157 (718,865)
4. [3DS] Harvest Moon: Tsunagaru Shin Tenchi – 29,514 (160,296)
5. [PS3] Ar no Surge – 27,037 (New)
6. [3DS] Kaseki Horider: Mugen Gear – 22,210 (80,538)
7. [PS3] Yakuza: Ishin – 19,808 (212,113)
8. [PS4] Knack – 17,272 (393,348)
9. [3DS] Kirby: Triple Deluxe – 14,108 (489,610)
10. [3DS] Pokemon X and Y – 10,708 (3,984,832)
11. [3DS] Puzzle & Dragons Z – 10,508 (1,399,320)
12. [PS4] Battlefield 4 – 9,830 (47,746)
13. [PS4] Yakuza: Ishin – 9,265 (114,271)
14. [PS3] Grand Theft Auto V – 7,312 (728,899)
15. [Wii U] Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze – 7,181(67,284)
16. [PSV] Deception IV: Blood Ties – 6,101 (25,422)
17. [PS3] Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Full Boost – 5,882 (333,928)
18. [PS3] Deception IV: Blood Ties – 5,874 (29,127)
19. [3DS] Kuroko no Basuke: Shouri e no Kiseki – 5,752 (61,811)
20. [PS4] Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition – 5,327 (25,851)

The hardware results are interesting for a number of reasons. Last week's number one — the PS4 in its second week — remains on top but with another meaty drop; while stock issues may have been a factor last week, its figures are surprisingly low for week 3 and tracking below the Japanese launches of systems such as 3DS, Wii U and PS Vita. Elsewhere the Vita enjoyed an increase to overtake the 3DS LL (XL), with a number one software release and a new budget bundle no doubt helping. The 3DS remains a little ahead if you accumulate both models, while the Wii U dips a little further; last week's sales are in parenthesis.

PlayStation 4 – 35,294 (65,685)
PlayStation Vita – 31,325 (21,581)
3DS LL – 24,192 (26,027)
PlayStation 3 – 12,102 (13,155)
3DS – 10,876 (11,986)
Wii U – 7,773 (8,204)
PSP – 3,425 (3,652)
PlayStation Vita TV – 1,962 (1,543)
Xbox 360 – 300 (257)

This week's figures continue solid if unspectacular results for the 3DS and, increasingly, the Vita, though underwhelming home console figures of the new PS4, with continued Wii U struggles, are a concern. It's not a particularly strong picture in Japan at this particular moment, though the handheld market is doing its part to help.

[via gematsu.com]

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User Comments (53)

MAN1AC

#2

MAN1AC said:

I wouldn't say its a challenge due to the overall sales, but it is interesting to see the Vita's numbers have been close to those of the 3DS recently. The 3DS numbers have been DOWN lately but I dont know if its due to a need of more software or just over-saturation.

Its should be interesting to see how Nintendo plays their hand with this situation since they've obviously shifted many of their their resources to the Wii U to address its many problems....maybe release the 2DS in Japan?

Regardless, congrats to Sony I guess. The Vita will most likely be looked at as a failure when its all said and done but at least they've been able to find a niche audience for it. Maybe the PS4 doing so well will help too.

MAN1AC

#3

MAN1AC said:

@minotaurgamer
Please stop the the market is dying nonsense. Its annoying seeing these comments every time Nintendo's numbers are down. Yes, mobile is here to stay and eating into the handheld market but I didn't hear this stuff when the 3DS was selling like crazy last year so dont do it now...and consoles arent going to sell well in that region regardless.

WaLzgiStaff

#4

WaLzgi said:

Competition? Vita only has 2 entries on the top 20 while the 3DS has more, but I suppose it's better than last year's one sided victories :O

@MAN1AC Actually some analysts including Michael Pachter have noted that software sales have declined 50% between 2008 and 2013. That's pretty hefty if you ask me :O

Peach64

#5

Peach64 said:

I say this every week, but I imagine Nintendo will launch the 2DS over there soon. Either that, or an actual new model. It had sold over a million after 10 weeks last year, and this year after 10 weeks it's on 550,000. Vita is never, ever going to catch up, but it's numbers are up this year compared to last year (300k YTD compared to 225k in 2013). Giving hope to the Wii U that things can turn around, even a couple of years after launch.

Oh, and PS4 is definitely facing stock shortages. Sony would have rushed the first few week's shipments in for launch. I don't know what tomorrows NPDs will be like, but it's the same situation where they'll have sold everything they shipped. Pretty much every store you go into is taking pre-orders for the next shipment of PS4s.

Monday night:

Shinjuku :

Bic Camera - Sold out
Yodbashi - new basic pack in stock, everything else sold out
sofmap - sold out
labi - sold out

Akihabara :

Media lab : sold out
Sofmap : sold out
yodobashi : sold out

shingi_70

#6

shingi_70 said:

@Unca_Lz

How much of that is figuring in digital sales.

Good to see the Vita start to pick up momentum. Its looking like it will be a repeat of last generation. The 3DS and its hardware sells into it hits market saturation and than the Vita starts to get massive support.

It makes me wonder when were going to see the successor to the 3DS.

Sparx

#7

Sparx said:

I wish Wii U could have sold 4 more units...

also 360 went up?

ECMIM

#8

ECMIM said:

This is a terrible, misleading, headline, but I suppose it did what it was supposed to do.

Caryslan

#10

Caryslan said:

Maybe I'm wrong, but has the 3DS gotten any major titles over the past couple of weeks? I think all the games that are charting now, have been out for at least two weeks.

Plus, Japan is the only region not getting Yoshi's New Island this week, so that's not going to help boost 3DS sales until it launches this summer.

I am shocked the PS4 is holding on to the top spot. Given how quickly the Wii U plummeted over there, and the general lack of interest consoles have gotten over the past generation in Japan, I was thinking the PS4 would have dropped off by now, especially since there don't seem to be any Japan-centric games at launch.

Santaman64

#11

Santaman64 said:

And the Atari Lynx is no where to be found.

**pours out a little for all the great, dead, handheld homies**

rdrunner1178

#13

rdrunner1178 said:

The Vita is at least selling a little better, but like they said it was still behind the 3DS if you count both iterations together.

dumedum

#15

dumedum said:

"The PS4 figures are surprisingly low for week 3 and tracking below the Japanese launches of systems such as 3DS, Wii U and PS Vita" LOL. I wonder if it will ever surpass Wii U in Japan. Probably not since it's tracking below for two weeks straight. Obviously will never come close to the 3DS. I wouldn't call PS4 a flop in Japan just yet but it's not looking good LOL.

Hy8ogen

#16

Hy8ogen said:

Not bashing but seriously? There are only 2 Vita tittles out of the 20 and they aren't actually selling. The new vita game sold for like 49k and it is suddenly a contest? 490k for sure but 49k is not even close.

Hy8ogen

#17

Hy8ogen said:

@minotaurgamer This gen is depressing? Launch week sales are breaking records and Sony can't even supply enough PS4s for their customers. The only console that is not sold out at launch week this generation is the Xbone.

Depressing? Nah, but your Link's face is though.

micronean

#18

micronean said:

I think there would be more PS4s sold if there was more stock. But, that said, it's not like the basic model was flying off the shelves. And, let's face it, the Japanese gaming market is all portables now. There will not be any PS2 level of sales anymore for home consoles, which means the Xbox One will be a niche product at best in Japan, while software production will not reach the levels of previous generations.

Anyone who bets on Indie-developed software is going to be the real winner by the end of this generation, and--surprise surprise--that is Sony and Nintendo. Microsoft, a few steps behind.

Mk_II

#19

Mk_II said:

ive said it before: all the home consoles will face exactly the same challenges. Two out of the three major regions are still in recession. And the differences between this and the last gen aren't convincing enough people to upgrade now at considerable cost.

Melkac

#20

Melkac said:

@MAN1AC The VITA numbers are usually very, very low compared to the 3DS. About 10k+ low, not sure what you mean...

Beetlejuice

#21

Beetlejuice said:

@dumedum

Wii-U was in plentiful supply though, while the PS4 is continuing to sell out available stock. You can't sell systems if there aren't any on the shelf.

p.s. PS4 sold more systems in 4 months than the Wii-U has in 14 LOL

SetupDisk

#22

SetupDisk said:

Why would you even bother upgrading to a PS4 yet when the PS3 in Japan is getting some great RPGs? As for NA Darks Souls 2 on PS3 and DK on Wii U are much better than the releases on PS4. Well to me anyway. I would get excited about Infamous second son if I still didn't have to play 2 and the PSN one.

If I was going to buy a new console right now it would be a 360 to go with my Wii U and PS3. I'll get a PS4 eventually but there is no reason to get one now besides it's new and shiny. Again that's for me of course.

Yasume

#23

Yasume said:

So glad that the Vita is doing better in Japan lately. People are definitely showing more interest in it in the west as well. It may not catch up to the 3DS in terms of sales, but it's an amazing system and deserves to be recognized. Now if only Sony would give it some love too :/

PinkSpider

#24

PinkSpider said:

It still pains me to see knack and donkey kongs massive sales difference
I know it's because knack was a pack in title but it's still heart crushing when donkey kong is an infinitely superior game.

jrob23

#26

jrob23 said:

@MAN1AC the market as a whole is down. Relax! Sales for Wii U, Xbone, Vita, and 3DS are all down. Only the PS4 is showing any strength. This latest push by Vita is most likely due to the PS4 launch. It will be short lived I'm sure.

WaLzgiStaff

#27

WaLzgi said:

@shingi_70 I seriously doubt the digital sales make up 50% of 2013's sales. Second, I also doubt saturation effects software sales

PrincessSugoi

#29

PrincessSugoi said:

Nice result for the Vita. Won't be taking the plunge on one quite yet so I'd like it to continue getting supported until I do.

The PS4 drop offs are pretty interesting. Most likely reason is stock shortages which begs the question of just what kind of numbers were expected since they were able to have a million available in it's first week over here.

Funny the underwhelming feeling I'm getting from the software results. Gotten too used to seeing the numbers from juggernauts like Pokemon and surprise hits like Triple Deluxe on top for months that now the more normal looking results are jarring.

NodesforNoids

#30

NodesforNoids said:

I'm not so sure stock shortages are entirely the reason why the PS4's numbers keep dropping.
Outside of Knack (a subpar attempt at a Rachet and Clank / Mario / Banjo and Kazooie style experience) there isn't anything that sells overly well in Japan. Tomb Raider re-release? Battlefield 4?
I'm with the aforementioned mindset: Japan doesn't give a dime for super HD. Especially not in the console market. I mean, it's not even a handheld market now. It's a handheld society. EVERYTHING that does well in Japan is portable now. Cell phones, manga, gaming systems.. Even smaller laptops are coming on strong.
I can't imagine Microsoft shipping more than a few thousand consoles for the Xbox One. They've no Japanese presence. At all.

IceClimbers

#31

IceClimbers said:

On a side note, Animal Crossing New Leaf has finally dropped off the top 20. I'm amazed at how long it was on there.

Technosphile

#32

Technosphile said:

Pretty sure that PS4 dropoff is due entirely to no one being able to find one to buy. It is going to dominate this gen, worldwide.

Beetlejuice

#34

Beetlejuice said:

@dumedum

Ya, because PS4 is sold out in Japan. LOL.

Also, PS4 has only been out in Japan for a few weeks, so I don't know why you are comparing it to the sales total of the Wii-U that has been out for 14 months. LOL.

PS4 will have outsold the Wii-U in Japan by April/May, and the Wii-U will never catch up the PS4's worldwide sales totals after that LOL.

dumedum

#35

dumedum said:

@JohnRedcorn ps4 is not sold out. Its just underperforming and already trailing behind. Wii U sold 200000 in the third week in Japan LOL. PS4 will never catch up.

Beetlejuice

#36

Beetlejuice said:

@dumedum

There are PS4 shortages all over the world LOL

The PS4 will have outsold the Wii-U in Japan by this summer LOL

The PS4 has surpassed the sales expectations of everyone LOL

The Wii-U launched at Christmas, that's why it sold a lot LOL

dumedum

#37

dumedum said:

@JohnRedcorn keep making excuses LOL I love it how April may turned to summer. Try never. Wii U has kicked ps4 a## in Japan. Even vita did better than ps4. Its pathetic. ROTFL

Beetlejuice

#38

Beetlejuice said:

@dumedum

There are more PS4 owners worldwide than Wii-U LOL

Why are you so obsessed with Japan's sales? LOL

It's just one small country LOL

Vita has been out several years LOL

Why would you compare it's sales to a console that has only been available for a month in Japan? LOL

ROTFLMAO

Beetlejuice

#40

Beetlejuice said:

@dumedum

PS3 owners are still having so much fun with the system that they don't need to upgrade to the PS4 yet LOL

Same reason the Wii-U is selling like crap, right? LOL

PS4 is the top selling console this generation already LOL

Let the butt hurt flow through you LOL

dumedum

#41

dumedum said:

@JohnRedcorn if what you say is true, why are you upset then that the PS4 is selling so poorly in Japan and trailing behind the Wii U? Don't be so mad LOL.

Beetlejuice

#42

Beetlejuice said:

@dumedum

Not upset LOL.

Just wanted to point out how ridiculous your assertion is that the 'PS4 has failed in Japan' LOL.

You are bragging that a system that launched at the end of February 2014 hasn't sold as many units in Japan as a system that launched in December 2012 LOL.

You are incapable of having an intelligent debate LOL.

PS4 will obviously catch up to and surpass the Wii-U in Japan LOL.

When it does I will return to this post and let you know LOL.

See ya around LOL.

dumedum

#43

dumedum said:

@JohnRedcorn no. It is trailing behind in week 3. That is relative to the first weeks of Wii U. I know this is complicated stuff but you should get it by now LOL. Ok, see you in April. Ha ha, good luck. It is still going to be about a million behind. Good luck with your prediction that it will surpass Wii U by April-May when it's already trailing behind. It might ONE day, but it's going to take a while. "I would come back to this thread" LOL - get a life, son. At least we both agree that PS4 has flopped in Japan at this point. LOL.

To sum up the Japan situation:
(1) Wii U launch sales were stronger than PS4 sales in Japan
(2) The Wii U didn't sell as poorly as the PS4 during its first launch weeks in Japan.
(3) The PlayStation 4 has dropped off in sales from launch week, while the Wii U continues to hold steady week over week.

This is what we know at this point and I'm glad we agree.

Beetlejuice

#44

Beetlejuice said:

@dumedum

"Wii U launch sales were stronger than PS4 sales in Japan"

PS4 surpassed the Wii-U's first week sales LOL.

"The Wii U didn't sell as poorly as the PS4 during its first launch weeks in Japan."

The Wii-U launched in the busy holiday season where everyone is buying consoles for themselves and as gifts. PS4 launched end of February LOL. Not really all that surprising that the Wii-U sold more units at Christmas LOL.

"The PlayStation 4 has dropped off in sales from launch week, while the Wii U continues to hold steady week over week."

The PS4 is experiencing shortages everywhere, so naturally that would affect it's abilty to sell more units LOL. The Wii-U is holding steady selling 7-9,000 units a week LOL. That is horribly embarassing LOL.

"Good luck with your prediction that it will surpass Wii U by April-May when it's already trailing behind. It might ONE day***, but it's going to take a while."

PS4 WILL surpass Wii-U LOL. It's inevitable LOL. It's surpassed it everywhere else already LOL. You are clinging to this "Japan sales" thing when it doesn't matter LOL. PS4 has sold more consoles worldwide in 3 months than the 14 month old Wii-U LOL. And without the benefit of being available for two holiday seasons, like the Wii-U was LOL.

***You were supposed to emphasize the "MIGHT" not the "ONE" LOL.

dumedum

#47

dumedum said:

@JohnRedcorn It does not matter who wins. We all lose because of the big PS4 flop in Japan :( No wonder you are self delusional, the flop is really really hard man. 30,000 in the third week LOL. Unheard of.

P.S. Why are you raising a white flag from under your desk?

And what does "^YOU LOL" mean.

P.S.2 Upgrade your monitor.

dumedum

#49

dumedum said:

@JohnRedcorn

LOL.

Danth’s Law (also known as Parker’s Law)
States: “If you have to insist that you've won an internet argument, you've probably lost badly.” Named after a user on the role-playing gamers’ forum RPG.net.
Danth’s Law was most famously declared in “The Lenski Affair”, between microbiologist Richard Lenski and the editor of Conservapedia.com, Andrew Schlafly, who cast doubt upon Prof Lenski’s elegant experimental demonstration of evolution.
After what is widely held to be one of the greatest and most comprehensive put-downs in scientific argument from Prof Lenski, Mr Schlafly declared himself the winner.

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