News Article

3DS Enjoys a Major Hardware Boost in Japan as Wii U Sales Also Increase

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Increase in Japanese sales tax drives extra pre-rise sales

The results for last week's sales in Japan are here thanks to Media Create, and they bring pleasing news of hardware sales increasing for both 3DS and Wii U. It may be a peak before a notable dip, however, as Sales Tax in Japan increased from 5% to 8% in 1st April; many likely rushed ahead with expensive purchases, such as games systems, before the increase took effect.

To start with the software top 20, Mario Party: Island Tour has shown decent momentum and has now passed 200,000 physical retail sales in its first two weeks — it's been pushed off top spot by new Vita arrival Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd. Yo-kai Watch continues its impressive run while New Love Plus+ is a newcomer in 7th place; 3DS software has lost some of its dominance in recent weeks, however, with a high number of arrivals on Sony systems. The top 20 is below with lifetime sales (physical retail only) in brackets.

1. [PSV] Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd – 98,628 (New)
2. [3DS] Mario Party: Island Tour – 78,098 (210,767)
3. [PS3] Hatsune Miku Project Diva F 2nd – 59,965 (New)
4. [3DS] Yokai Watch – 48,345 (662,724)
5. [PS3] Samurai Warriors 4 – 46,490 (166,942)
6. [PS3] Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes – 38,617 (158,232)
7. [3DS] New Love Plus+ – 31,258 (New)
8. [PS3] J-Stars Victory VS – 25,300 (143,540)
9. [PSV] J-Stars Victory VS – 24,825 (122,646)
10. [PSV] Hakuoki SSL: Sweet School Life – 21,640 (New)
11. [PSV] Samurai Warriors 4 – 19,596 (59,193)
12. [PS3] Winning Post 8 – 19,156 (New)
13. [PS3] Dark Souls II – 17,771 (310,253)
14. [PS3] Pro Yakyuu Spirits 2014 – 16,897 (80,795)
15. [PSP] Pro Yakyuu Spirits 2014 – 14,877 (42,700)
16. [3DS] Kirby: Triple Deluxe – 12,966 (120,379)
17. [3DS] Kaseki Horider: Mugen Gear – 12,966 (120,379)
18. [PS4] Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes – 12,374 (104,277)
19. [PSV] Winning Post 8 – 12,120 (New)
20. [PSV] Atelier Ayesha Plus: The Alchemist of Dusk – 11,663 (New)

The hardware results show that aforementioned sales bump across the board, with eager shoppers getting in ahead of the rise in tax. The 3DS LL (XL) was the biggest beneficiary with a substantial increase to over 50,000 units to reclaim the number one spot, while the Wii U enjoyed a jump back into five figures. In worrying signs for Sony the PS4 was the only system to suffer a drop; the results are below with last week's sales in brackets.

3DS LL – 52,124 (28,291)
PlayStation Vita – 39,752 (35,374)
PlayStation 4 – 23,327 (30,201)
PlayStation 3 – 17,154 (15,455)
Wii U – 13,026 (9,982)
3DS – 12,508 (11,985)
PSP – 4,206 (3,563)
PlayStation Vita TV – 2,115 (1,754)
Xbox 360 – 304 (288)

A strong week for Nintendo in terms of hardware sales, with the 3DS prospering ahead of a potential all-round drop in the coming weeks due to increased taxation; it's pleasing to see the Wii U climb for the second consecutive week, too.


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User Comments (66)



johndevine said:

The Wii U boost seems nice, though strange, as it doesn't seem to be driven by any new compelling software.



XFsWorld said:

Nice to see the 3DS and Vita still doing good.

Ok, Japan may help Mario Party Island Tour hit a million units sold.



ikki5 said:

this is quite baffing... is there a reason that there was a boost because... all the new titles are for PS4 or PSV except for that one that sold like 30k.....

Also, it looks like the PS4 is going to drop below the PS3



Silent said:

Sales should be increasing from now on due to preparation for Mario Kart 8.



NintyMan said:

Hopefully Mario Kart 8 will give Wii U a further boost soon, even with this increased sales tax in Japan. It sounds like it could be a serious issue to me.



readyletsgo said:

Wow, thats a great week for Sony games sales!!! 15 Sony platform games (including even a PSP game) and 5 3ds games in the top 20, not a WiiU game in sight.

Who is still buying the 360 new in Japan now? Collectors?



ThomasBW84 said:

@ikki5 - I actually gave a reason a few times in the article

Sales tax went up in Japan yesterday, so last week consumers would have been getting in before the bump.



cfgk24 said:

Overall - now people in Japan have seen the PS4 - they are actually realising the joys of the Nitnedo Wii U! with that lovely gamepad and eShop and all that jazz!



ikki5 said:

yeah, I see that but I don't understand how a 3% increase would really change that by that much especially when in your reasoning:

"many likely rushed ahead with expensive purchases, such as games systems, before the increase took effect."

you'd think there would be an even bigger spike in the PS4 as that is the more expensive item and if you were going to buy that, you'll pay more difference with the PS4 after the tax increase than you would with the 3DS, so if you were going to buy a 3DS and a PS4 in your life time but could only say get one before the tax increase, you'd want to go for the PS4 and then the 3DS later as you'd save more that way.



datamonkey said:

Great to see sales increases but we need it to keep increasing!

The Vita deserves it too as it's an awesome console!



Peach64 said:

Yokai Watch has some strong legs on it! Shame it's so basic as I love Level 5 stuff, but don't think that one is for me.



HandheldGuru97 said:

Nice, nice!!!!!! Good to see increases all around, I'm not worried about the PS4...yet Japan is handheld land even though the PS3 has done very well, so its early still. Even happier to see the Wii U bump, now if could stay there for a bit...



ThomasBW84 said:

@ikki5 There still has to be demand for the system though. So if people want something, can afford it and have the choice of jumping now or paying more the following week, they jump. The worrying thing for Sony is that, even with that consideration, the PS4 dropped. It seems there were good numbers that were on the fence for a 3DS XL (called LL in Japan). I believe there were some bundles related to New Love + that may have helped, too.



Ninhau said:

so people see a great game (MK8) coming to the WiiU, and buy the machine? w00t, games sell hardware?! Nintendo might be on to something here!!!



ToniK said:

Sales tax from 5% to 8% in Japan. Here comes Finland.... 24%, boooooom! No wonder I can't buy as many games as I would like to



MamaLuigi said:

I'd be amazed if 3DS falters after this, but eventually they've got to come up with some kind of new product that plays both console and portable games. The strategy has already started on Wii U with GBA and DS... now they've got to consider making everything playable on both console and handheld.



MoonKnight7 said:

I guess people saw it as an opportunity to get a Wii U before Mario Kart releases.

I don't think it's that strange that the PS4 had a drop off, since wasn't released that long ago. It hasn't found it's plateau yet. But even so, that's a pretty big dive considering that this is a unique opportunity to drive sales.



andreoni79 said:

@ToniK 22% in Italy... Just curious: how much is Metal Gear GZ in Finland? Here it's € 40 (while lucky americans complain because $ 30 is too much)
Talking about the games chart, Sony-Nintendo 14-6.



Action51 said:

@dumedum - I don't bother with the people who obsess over sales and who sells how many of what. Some people are here to find the dark cloud between every silver lining.

Of course that's not entirely true about the sales...I'm a JRPG fan, and while I don't know if I could justify the purchase of a PS3 or PS4, I am saddened to see vita TV doing so poorly in Japan. I was hoping it would do better so we might get it here in the United States. I'm not someone who has use for portables on the go, so my 3DS is like a second home console...I'd love to see Nintendo make a 3DS "super game boy" type adapter for Wii U, or a Vita TV type product to play on the big screen.



JaxonH said:


Perhaps that's exactly the reason. The new PS4 games might just be all the evidence the Japanese need to justify buying a Wii U now. Before, there was that looming question mark about how amazing PS4 was gonna be. But now they're seeing with their own eyes what it's all about. And maybe a small percentage said "ok, not impressed" and coughed up for a Wii U...? Just a theory.

Not that games like MGSV GZ or Infamous are bad games- on the contrary, I think they're both excellent games. But, one is demo-length and the other, well, it's just one game.

PS4 sales are dropping each week- it's almost down to Wii U levels. I hate to think how the Xbox One will fare in Japan...

The renewed interest in Vita proves it's never too late for a gaming device to catch on. Sure, it's still only selling half of what the 3DS is, but, it IS doing well enough. Heck, it's outselling the PS4 for crying out loud. Well, that speaks more for poor PS4 sales than high Vita sales, but still. It's proof that once a full, appealing library takes form, people WILL go for it. Every masterpiece added to the Wii U library takes it one step closer to success.



rjejr said:

@ThomasBW84 - "I actually gave a reason a few times in the article "

I'm pretty sure many people simply comment after reading the title, you can't expect them to read the ENTIRE article, can you?

I don't see why anybody would buy a Wii U 2 months before MK8 to save 3% tax in Japan where they really like their bundles, and a price cut could be likely before then as well.

A new Wii U bundle did come out last week in Japan though which may explain the increase i Wii U sales (which I thought accounted for last weeks Wii U sales but I was mistaken, as I explained last week.)
Pretty weird that the Wii U got such a big bump last week (25%) w/o any games and this new bundle only goes on sale today. I thought that might have accounted for the sales increase, so maybe next week there'll be that bump to 5 figures. Unless the street date got pushed up?

At least I got the 5 figure bump prediction correct



ToniK said:

@andreoni79 I did a quick search and the cheapest I could find was 29,90. I've seen 37,90 and something like that though.



MikeLove said:


The 5 month old PS4 has outsold the 17 month old Wii-U worldwide, and since its release in Japan, has been outselling the Wii-U on a weekly basis.

It's hard to take you seriously you when you are bragging about the Wii-U, a system that has been out in Japan for well over a year, selling more units overall when compared to a console that has only been on sale in Japan for a month and a half.

Not that it matters to anyone else, but keep grasping to that 'victory' if it helps you sleep better!


You just can't get enough of me, can you?!



Action51 said:

@JaxonH you make some good points.

I just have to ask you this:

Do you notice that you have to place a disclaimer that you don't hate Sony and give it a compliment before you make any criticism or even speculate on anything that isn't purely positive about Sony in order to keep the conversation civil?

If you dare to even mention your thoughts for why a Sony system isn't doing as well as a week prior, or why gamers might not be as excited for something as the the Sony fans...they will immediately lose all ability to discuss anything rationally and launch into accusations of Nintendrones, call you delusional, and then go on foaming at the mouth tirades of general, unbridled hate for whatever console they think you prefer?

Maybe I should have prefaced this question by saying I don't hate Sony, and I've owned Sony systems. I'm just in complete agreement that the PS4 is a great little machine, but it's not a new leap in graphics or power or gaming innovation that we haven't already seen with the PC.

That being said...I have no doubt the PS4 will continue to sell well across the world because of great marketing and because it's a far better value then Microsoft's XboxOne.

I think the real "console war" this gen is going to be which console comes in second place in sales: Pricey XBox one with more power and third party support, but a lot of baggage and an underwhelming Kinect 2, or the WIi U with it's lack of third party support and lower specs, while bringing the greatest library of first party titles and a healthy dose of Indie support.



AdanVC said:

Great week for Nintendo hardware, even Wii U had a bump no matter if i t doesn't had a retail release this week. This clearly shows that Wii U's problem is not on the console itself (The name, the lack of games, the low tech specs compared to PS4/Xbone, etc.) it's just that people when they can afford it, they go for it (and the decreasing interest on home consoles overall unfortunately, just look at PS4 numbers this week for example.) Let's just start imagine the numbers once Mario Kart 8 hits!



Airola said:

@JohnRedcorn I think that the point is that the sales of PS4 have been declining much much much much faster than the Wii U did. All signs point out to the possibility of the total PS4 sales ending up being even less than Wii U. That's is a situation that no-one though would happen.

There are people who rejoiced when the Wii U started to sell badly. There are people now who are bitter about that and are rejoicing when the mega-seller in other parts of the world is selling badly in Japan.

Personally I'd hope all consoles would sell as much as possible, and I'm glad they sell even something. I try to see even the 360 sales as "well, that's 304 more happy 360 players in the world"

However, the fact is that PS4 is selling very poorly in Japan. Sure, Wii U is selling even worse, but PS4 has been declining waster to poor sales than Wii U did, and that is worrying. Of course, that doesn't take away the fact that PS4 sells wonderfully in the rest of the world. It has broken all the records, but the Japan situation is really bad.

Let's hope both PS4 and Wii U end up selling better. Heck, the rise of Vita is a miracle in itself, so perhaps that's possible for other consoles too. I personally have no interest getting Vita ever, but I'm glad to see it slowly rising up.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@ikki5 You have to factor in their respective price points. That line of thinking only works if you only factor in the amount of tax that you would save between the two purchases. The 3DS and the Vita are considerably cheaper which more than compensates for the tax "saved".

Between the Wii U and the PS4 it might be that the PS4 sits right at the threshold where buying it due to "minor" tax savings might not be worth it in the minds of the consumers. The Wii U may potentially be under this threshold which is why it may also have gotten a bump in sales.

It might also be an issue with stock, as Sony might simply be holding back stock (to create an artificial stockout like the Wii). Or they could be waiting for the tax to come into full force before restocking.

It is never a matter of one aspect when looking at sales.



Action51 said:

@Airola - great post!

I too want to see the Wii U sell better because I own one and I'm a longtime Nintendo fan...and that does not mean I want to see Sony fail. You pointed out very well that enjoying one console has nothing to do with whether of not someone else enjoys a different one...or both.

+1up to you!



Action51 said:

Just for the EU posters who are the majority here, sales tax in the USA differs from state to state, usually between 3%-8%.



Luna-Harmony said:

Very interesting i just read that ps4 is taking a slump in japan while selling like hotcakes in the west.



Samurai_Goroh said:

Sales tax is 23% in Portugal... Lucky Japanese, I don't think a 3% tax increase will make much difference for them.
And Wii U sales are up... again. Nice to see slow but steady growth.



MAN1AC said:

I read bout that tax about to hit Japan in the paper a few days ago so this makes sense and I can't really blame anyone making gaming purchases before it hits.



Farmboy74 said:

@MamaLuigi, your talking about the much rumoured Nintendo Fusion. TBH given with what Iwata has said recently with a home console and a hand held unit sharing the same OS, I would say it will happen eventually.
Anyway back to the story, a rise in sales figures is always positive just need to give people a reason to buy the hardware.



LordFamicom said:

It's good for Sony and Nintendo to be making some good sales in Japan. I want both companies to be successful in their hardware and software sales.



MikeLove said:


But to be fair, in Japan the Wii-U has already enjoyed the huge bump that's provided by Christmas sales twice, while the PS4 launched two months after Christmas which is a slow sales period.

Good points though, I appreciate the response.



SetupDisk said:

It's simple. PS3 is still a better system than PS4 right now. No backward play is a huge slap in the face. If PS4 had it I would have one right now. A system with a ton of great games for cheap and much better playstation plus or a new system with better but still not amazing graphics with only a few worthwhile games.

That streaming crap doesn't count.



JaxonH said:

Indeed. Here's my honest opinion without being sugar coated- and I do own all the systems in question here...

The Vita is an amazing handheld, but it doesn't have any new top-shelf games. It's got dozens of good games, and LOTS of ports, but no Vita exclusives that are really above the cut. That's what's holding me back from really loving the Vita more. Great system, lots of good games, absolutely zero great new exclusives. Not to mention the online passes really aggravate me to the point it's not even worth buying used for 1st party titles. Hopefully that will change this year, but we'll see. All in all though, I'm glad I bought a Vita.

The 3DS is a tad meager on the horsepower side, but what it lacks in power it MORE than makes up in quality content and charm. In fact, the 3DS library is one of the finest quality libraries I've ever seen on a handheld. Like, ever. And with artstyles that work to the favor of less powerful hardware, it's really not even an issue. The 3D effect is amazing, the games are REALLY amazing- yeah, the system is exceptional in every way. All in all, I couldn't be a gamer without a 3DS.

As for the PS4- I think it's a fantastic system, with a few drawbacks. On the plus side, the graphics ARE better than the other 8th gen consoles, and that makes for great looking games. That's a plus. I also like the capabilies like pic/video capture and streaming. However, I hate that you don't have anywhere to post them. Without a built-in social site, it's kind of pointless (who wants to post to FB???). I also hate no backwards compatibility and online paywalls.

As for the PS4 games, I love many of the games that come to Sony platforms. Great games will be in no short supply on PS4. However, many genres lack great games on Sony platforms. It's good for the realistic games, but when it comes to a lot of other stuff like 2D/3D platformers or cart racers, the system is rather lacking. Not that it won't have games of those genres, it's just that they all suck. So PS4 is great- it's exceptional, actually. BUT, it only fulfills some of the types of games I desire as a gamer. All in all, I'm VERY glad I bought a PS4 and look forward to the AAA side of gaming that it does so well...

Which brings us to Wii U. The negatives- the drawback of 3rd party support (not multiplats- we never really had AAA support, I'm talking about middle market games and exclusives) has left the console a tad shy on releases. Also, no net-based accounts, and the system is the least graphically capable of the three. With that said, the positives far outweigh any negatives, and now that we're in the HD era, being graphically inferior isn't that big of a deal anymore. I bought Wii U specifically for DIFFERENT games than what's on other consoles, because A) I love Nintendo games more- I think they're funner to play and B) I get sick of AAA all the time, and Wii U is delivering top-shelf, GotY quality exclusives in spades.

Almost every core 1st party game is a masterpiece, and fills in all the genres not present on other consoles nicely. While there are fewer games total than on other consoles, there are more games worth buying. Backwards compatibility is huge, and the Gamepad (despite overly critical fans looking for a reason to hate it) DOES add to the experience. The full experience in games like Wii Sports Club Golf or Pikmin 3 would be extremely limited without a second screen. I also enjoy multiple controller options. To me, that should be a standard nowadays. Gamepad, Pro Controller or Wiimote. Take your pick... I love that. Most importantly, I love Miiverse- the single-greatest thing to come of the 8th gen consoles. All in all, I'm SO glad I own a Wii U. I couldn't imagine being a gamer and NOT playing all these amazing Wii U exclusive games.



somari said:

wow some good news at last. ps vita is doing good for like the hate it got so good news for both Nintendo and Sony.



Nimious said:

The lack of PS4 sales is due to stock issues. Ultimately here in Canada it is always OOS and even online retailers like Amazon are jumping on top of the fact and bumping the price up by $50.

It'd be amazingly surprising to see PS4 sales just plummet in Japan when there's so much love for Sony there.



BinaryFragger said:


I agree about the Vita. I personally love the system (bought it on launch day) but virtually none of the games I own are Vita exclusives. I've been enjoying Persona 4 Golden, Hotline Miami, Terraria, Rayman Legends, Final Fantasy X HD, Fez, Spelunky, BitTrip Runner 2, Mutant Mudds Deluxe, Guacamelee, Soul Sacrifice, and Ys: Memories of Celceta.
Excellent games but only the last one is an exclusive (although it's a remake/sequel of Ys IV).

I often get asked if the Vita is worth getting and my answer is usually quite simple: If you own a PS3 and/or PS4, no, if you don't, yes.



Action51 said:

@JaxonH wow! That's quite a response, thanks for sharing your impressions.

My impression of the Wii U is that it's a great system in many aspects, while it does lack horsepower in comparison to other platforms out there in the market right now.

As someone who lived through the 16 bit era, I can tell you right now that there were a glut of new consoles that released throughout the life-cycle of the SNES and GENESIS that claimed more power and more mature content...only to be plagued by high price tags and lack of quality software.

The market is a very different place now, and it's sad to see Nintendo in a tough spot for all the years of great gaming they've given us. What gives me hope is what we saw at E3 last year...a year of great games. So they aren't rushed to market and released as regularly as we'd like, but we sure as hell got some serious quality over quantity.

This years E3 will be very important to Nintendo and very telling to their fans...they've managed to hang on despite a ton of negatives and produce some great games. Will they throw in the towel, or push forward and offer another year of amazing AAA exclusives? We'll see.



JaxonH said:


Nintendo? Throw in the towel? Not a chance. They survived the Virtual Boy. They survived the 3rd party exodus during the N64 days. They survived the PS2 era and it's 150 million units sold. Not only did they survive it, but they came back the next gen and sold 250 million between Wii and DS. They survived the early days of the 3DS. And they will survive Wii U. Not only will they survive it, but they'll give us one heck of an HD Nintendo library, our first ever. And boy is it shaping up nicely



Bizzyb said:

There really is NOTHING that caters to the Japanese market on PS4 (except for maybe MGS). Expect sales to continue falling.

As for Wii U, I expect it to roll into full swing once both MK AND Smash are released. It would have had a largely impressive library by then for new comers.



Senario said:

@dumedum here is a tip don't reply to redcorn or gator. They are pretty trolly and only want attention.

Other than that, eeeeh sales. I'm just going to go back to playing games.



Halzacar said:

To put this into perspective:

1) 3% up or down on a price is actually a big deal here. I've seen my friends and co-workers go nuts over a 5% off sale

2) There have been signs warning of the 3% increase posted every 5 feet in every store for the last month or so. The stores have been using this to increase sales, and judging by how busy stores have been the last two weeks, it definitely worked.



mullen said:

I believe the sales number for 3DSLL mostly thanks to the limited editions of New Love Plus +. Although the software number is not large for this game, I think most of players either got eShop version directly, or chose limited bundle. It's not likely to bought the card version for this game.

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