News Article

Japanese Retail Sales Struggle as Just 76 Units Separate PS4 and Wii U

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Yo-kai Watch approaches one million retail sales

The Japanese chart results are in from Media Create, and unfortunately they continue the recent trends of poor sales across software and hardware. There are some bright-spots from a Nintendo perspective, though not necessarily radiant enough to lighten up the overall picture.

To start with software, new releases on PS3 and PS Vita seize the top two spots, but there's continuing good news for Level-5 with Yo-kai Watch on 3DS, as it's still going strong with over 30,000 physical retail sales in the past week — it's almost reached one million boxed sales. Outside of the top three all games shifted less that 10,000 units, though there are 12 3DS games and one Wii U classic within the top 20. The results are below, with lifetime sales in brackets.

1. [PS3] The Idolmaster: One For All – 83,395 (New)
2. [PSV] Genkai Tokki: Moero Chronicle – 32,957 (New)
3. [3DS] Yokai Watch – 30,305 (950,035)
4. [3DS] Mario Golf: World Tour – 9,439 (86,210)
5. [3DS] Mario Party: Island Tour – 8,049 (371,184)
6. [PSV] Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment – 7,868 (201,381)
7. [3DS] Pokemon X and Y – 5,553 (4,063,466)
8. [3DS] Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call – 4,594 (120,549)
9. [3DS] Kirby: Triple Deluxe – 4,504 (584,509)
10. [3DS] Monster Hunter 4 – 3,386 (3,277,125)
11. [PS3] Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes – 3,360 (219,568)
12. [3DS] Mario Kart 7 – 3,345 (2,318,577)
13. [3DS] Wagamama Fashion Girls Mode Yokubari Sengen! Tokimeki Up! – 3,161 (36,149)
14. [3DS] Animal Crossing: New Leaf – 3,040 (3,734,701)
15. [PS3] Grand Theft Auto V – 2,968 (775,741)
16. [Wii U] Super Mario 3D World – 2,697 (544,874)
17. [3DS] Puzzle & Dragons Z – 2,658 (1,454,778)
18. [3DS] Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind – 2,363 (294,700)
19. [PS3] Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – 2,339 (New)
20. [PSV] God of War Collection – 2,265 (New)

The hardware results bring little cheer, with every system suffering a drop in sales. The 3DS LL (XL) remains on top despite losing over 10,000 sales, while there are now just 76 units separating Sony's PS4 and the Wii U — results below with last week's sales in brackets.

3DS LL – 18,350 (28,414)
PlayStation Vita – 12,810 (17,143)
PlayStation 3 – 7,339 (7,684)
PlayStation 4 – 6,792 (8,480)
Wii U – 6,716 (7,613)
3DS – 5,250 (7,529)
PSP – 1,642 (2,022)
PlayStation Vita TV – 1,055 (1,351)
Xbox 360 – 201 (233)

Nintendo will no doubt be hoping for a major boost with Wii U once Mario Kart 8 arrives, while Level-5's accountants probably can't wait for the arrival of Yo-kai Watch 2 to support the evergreen original.


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User Comments (91)



Mr_Pringles said:

What's up with the recent poor sales trend in Japan? It's so much lower than last year...



EverythingAmiibo said:

This is very good news, Wii U is almost matching PS4 during what should be a complete drought of sales in preparation for MK8, which means when MK8 comes out, the console should shoot above Vita while hopefully 3DS XL will gain more momentum and keep 1st. This will not be next week, but 2 articles from now of course



readyletsgo said:

Sonic all stars racing? New release in Japan? God I love that game, MK8 has a lot to live up to with that.

So, handhelds are the best selling systems in Japan, I wonder if Sony and Ninty will both release a home console next gen or if they will BOTH do a hybrid system.

3DS (ordinary and XL) - 23,600
Vita ( and Vita TV) - 13,865

PS3 – 7,339
PS4 - 6,792
Wii U - 6,716

I know there is a new tax in Japan, but those home console numbers are pretty bad.



MoonKnight7 said:

It's kinda nice to see that Mario 3D World weaved it's way in the top 20, not that it means a whole lot. It's a shame for the PS4, but I always figured it was going to bottom out around this point. If the PS4 and Wii U are at 6,000-7,000 units I can't wait to see how the XBox One fares in Japan (looking at you, Xbox 360). Clearly, the market has shifted dramatically this gen.



Warbeard said:

What we need to remember sometimes is the combined numbers of the 3ds XL and the normal 3ds
Does anyone know if Japan likes Mariokart? I just remember they are not too keen on Zelda always, so I was interested in which of the big franchises they 'do' like



mostro328 said:

Hopefully mk will boost wiiu hardware sales

So the only thing keeping ps4 alive is NA



MAB said:

It didn't take long for the PS4 to hit WiiU rock bottom... But it's not doomed because Sony can do no wrong




MoonKnight7 said:


While Mario Kart it isn't as much of a smash hit as it is in America, Japan still puts up very respectable numbers with any Mario Kart game.



Realgamer4life said:

I would love to see the Wii U get the top spot for two consecutive weeks. I think Sony is in big trouble with the PS4 unlike other parts of the world Japanese gamers don't waste there money.



Action51 said:

@MAB - lol

I know you are using hyperbole, but yes...the gaming media right now is in total puppy love mode with the Playstation brand.

No one can deny the PS4 had an amazing release, but now it's time to get back to talking games!



Octane said:

Who is going to buy a Wii U now? There's a Mario Kart 8 bundle coming soon, lower sales are expected, I think.



ScorpionMG said:

@Octane i think mk8 will do pretty good in japan, look at mk7, it's still in the top 12 games and it's been so long since it came out.



Gerbwmu said:

Gonna be fun to watch the numbers over the next month or so. Hopefully the over 2 million MK7's sold is a good sign for Wii U. The advertising in the US has been better with the commercials running in the previews for Godzilla. Seems as though Nintendo is starting to correct a few of the errors. If E3 can add to the excitement of MK8 then we may see a mini revival for the U.



ToniK said:

At this point a temporary boost is definitely not enough. I hope MK8 serves as a catalyst like they said. If it does nothing, Smash bros. won't either. Sony as a company is also suffering big time so the times are obviously harsh for video gaming.



Nintenjoe64 said:

The games (both released and upcoming) for 3DS at this point last year were better.... or at least that is my guess as to why sales are down so much.



Captain_Toad said:

Heh, the gaming drought is catching up to the PS4 after that hype launch earlier, unless Nintendo bombs this E3 (which seems to be unlikely)/mario kart 8 bombs in sales (also seems to be unlikely) and/or sony does some awesome stuff this E3 (which they were saying earlier) then you may as well as to hand your current sales position (in japan at least) to the WiiU baby.



rjejr said:

@sinalefa @Action51 @Realgamer4life @MAB @MoonKnight7 @readyletsgo -

RE: PS4 sales - please keep in mind that while PS4 is neck and neck w/ Wii U and that's bad for both, they are both trailing PS3, so Sony's problem is the PS3 continues to get good games that sell consoles. I don't see any Wii numbers in that chart but I don't think Wii sales are the Wii U's problem. So yeah, ha ha Sony PS4 sucks, but PS3 is still selling, and Sony owns that also.

Can't help but think Japan would be fine w/ Sony continuing to sell only PS3 for their home console for another year or so while Nintendo sells 3DS for portable gaming. I know smartphones and tablets are a problem but considering everybody in Japan owns a smartphone I think 3DS is doing ok. Same for 7 year old PS3.



PJR0cks said:

if Wii U becomes popular in Japan it could really change its fortunes, but it all depends on E3 and how Mario Kart sells systems.



somari said:

when mario kart 8 comes as wii u outsells ps4 in japan, it would for funny seeing that for what happen over the year when it come with the two consoles.



Minotaurgamer said:

@S-Miyahon Tax increase, population getting older, macroeconomics turmoils around the world. This generation will be very different from past ones. I know gamers like to pretend it doesn't exist but the economy not only in the US but worldwide is not in good shape at all and it will take time to recover. LOTS of time. All industries around the world are suffering the effects, why would the games industry be different? If any, it has more things againts it.



Peach64 said:

Only 3 games doing over 10,000 units sold? It's a lot more than just consoles struggling over there. Mobile has well and truly taken over that market. It's kind of a shame, but we're going to see less and less Japanese developed games.

I think MK8 is going to exceed expectations in Japan, and it should result in the Wii U being the top selling machine for at least a month, but I'm not sure about North America and Europe. There doesn't seem to be the same excitement for it amongst gamers in general, outside of Nintendo fans.



kobashi100 said:

@PvtOttobot how is this good news. The Wii U is still bombing hard and the 3DS isn't doing great numbers.

PS4 numbers are really bad just like Wii U.



Action51 said:

@rjejr - no "Sony sucks" ha ha" from me.

The thing I wanted to point out, and could have done better was that during this time last year the gaming media was relentless and overzealous in their need to constantly remind everyone what a disaster the Wii U was because sales had dropped off and there was a game drought.

Fair enough, but...the same thing is happening with Sony and Microsoft consoles but it's a fawning gaming media making excuses and praising the Kinect un-bundling in a way that you know would play out very differently had it been a game-pad less Wii U only six months in.

The PS4 and XB1 are perfectly adequate consoles that deliver the types of games their target audience wants consistently at a lower initial price tag then building your own PC. I have no reason to hate them...they didn't steal my girlfriend or make fun of my shirt.



sinalefa said:


Yeah, I still believe that people are not that willing to update to next gen as easily, whether it is Wii U, One or PS4.



Action51 said:

@Peach64 - Wow I actually agree almost completely with you!

One thing to note, while I agree that mobile gaming is making a massive impact in the market, it's also the slow release season for games...especially console games. I'm sure Titanfall and Infamous Second Son were not very appealing to Japanese audiences either, despite their popularity in the West.

So take that as you will.



SanderEvers said:

@sinalefa Simply put all GEN-8 consoles are underpowered. Not just the Wii U.

A mid to high-end PC these days will outrun the PS4 and the X1 just as easily as the Wii U. This was different in the beginning of Gen 7, it took a lot of time for PCs to be more powerful than the PS3's cell proc.



TingLz said:

@rjejr And unlike the Wii U, PS4 has no backwards compatibility with PS3 games, giving gamers less reason to buy a PS4



Caryslan said:

Before everyone starts acting like this is proof that Sony is dead and the PS4 is screwed, keep in mind one thing. Home Consoles simply don't sell in Japan anymore. The only reason why the PS3 still posts decent numbers is due to it establishing itself in the market over there before handhelds took over.

Plus Mario Kart 8 does not suddenly mean the PS4 is screwed over there. The Wii U will get a sales advantage, but games like Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy XV and other games are coming to the PS4.

So, its a long race between the Wii U and the PS4. Nothing can really be taken for granted. And who knows, the sales for both platforms may be horrible the entire generation in Japan, with spikes only coming when a major title arrives.

Like or not, handhelds are the top systems in that region. Consoles are becoming more and more irrelevant in Japan.

Plus, the PS3 getting new games is not good for the Wii U or PS4, because it gives consumers less of a reason to upgrade their consoles. The PS3 may be one of the main reasons the PS4 and Wii U are having trouble over there.



Action51 said:

@Caryslan - are you kidding me?

PS4 is going to dominate the UK, most of Europe and probably the North American markets to a lesser extent.

Anyone saying this is anything more then the typical post-launch doldrums followed by a similar drought in games to what the Wii U experienced is definitely being ridiculous.



FarsanBaloo said:

At long last - is it time for localisation of japanese games to US/EU? If books and films can be translated whitout the publisher going bust, then software should be able to take the cost.



FarsanBaloo said:

Yakuza 1&2, Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter, Romance of three Kingdoms, Fatal Frame, Last Story HD and more!



Caryslan said:

@Action51 I was only talking about Japan. In Europe and North America, the PS4 is the top console out of all the next gen consoles, and barring them messing up, its gonna be hard for Nintendo or Microsoft to catch up.

But in Japan, it's different. Handhelds dominate the market, and the most successful home console right now is the PS3, which shows no signs of slowing down in terms of support.

That's the uphill battle the PS4 and Wii U face in Japan. Not only are they competing in a market dominated by handhelds, but against a home console that is still going strong.



electrolite77 said:


To be fair, PS4 and XB1 sales in their first 6 months are a lot more than the Wii U managed so it wouldn't be an entirely fair comparison. They'll continue to stall without any games though.

Plus, this is just Japan.

On another note, 12 out of the top 20 are 3DS games. Superb again.



Jazzer94 said:

I'm not even trying to defend the PS4 sales (because they're terrible like the Wii U's) but this is only Japan Playstations smallest market just thought i'd add that before you all start prematurely celebrating when the games come like FF15 this will change fast.



CaviarMeths said:

@Caryslan Neither FFXV nor KH3 are likely to move many PS4s in Japan. FF sure didn't move many PS3s last gen and KH didn't move any PS2s the gen before it.



SparkOfSpirit said:

@CaviarMeths Not to mention how fast FFXIII landed in the bargain bin in Japan last gen. Final Fantasy is hardly the juggernaut it once was.

These sales for the home consoles aren't all that surprising and they're unlikely to improve much anytime soon in Japan.



vattodev said:

This is a very pessimistic post. Looking at the numbers the headline should be "Wii U tied with PS4 for Japanese domination". They sold about the same number of units this week and in their lifetime.



Windy said:

I also don't think people were ready to move to next Gen yet. The recent closing of the gaming server for Wii and DS doesn't it make it better either. It feels a bit forced. I know things move on and change. The last generation wasn't quite done. Take Xenoblade on Wii for instance. It was a miracle of gaming on Wii and the only game of its kind on the system. Would have been nice to see more games like it. Unfortunately the best came at the end on Wii. Seriously it shouldn't be that way



Gabjazz said:

I feel sorry for the ps4, it doesn't even have a year old and it's doomed already.



mojos said:

I'd go with the Wii U over the PS4. But I'd always skip the xbox.



Caryslan said:

@Gabjazz It's doomed? The Wii U has been posting sales like this for over a year in Japan. If the PS4 is considered doomed, that what is the Wii U? We're not even sure Mario Kart or Smash Bros will give the Wii U the spike it needs in Japan.

Pikmin 3, Wind Waker HD, and Super Mario 3D World were all supposed to be the games that pushed the Wii U's sales, and they all failed to uphold that promise.

I'm not hating on the Wii U, but the harsh reality is that Japan does not really care for consoles anymore. The PS3 is the only one that is hanging on by virtue of being established, but even its sales have been behind handhelds over the last few years.

Sony may not win Japan with the PS4, but neither will the Wii U if trends keep up. Its looks like the main market for home consoles will be the West, where they are still fairly popular.



MamaLuigi said:

No whiny fanboy predictions here: Mario Kart 8 is only about a week away and I'll be playing the hell out of it once I get my preorder copy.



IceClimbers said:

Between the tax hike and a poor economy worldwide, poor sales are to be expected, but I wasn't expecting this low of sales. Even the 3DS is selling poorly, although that's due to it being in desperate need for a new game in Japan. Consoles are dead there, while handhelds will do well there as long as they get exclusives that Japan wants (Pokemon, Monster Hunter, etc).

In Japan the real battle is handhelds vs mobile. Mobile has practically taken over in that market. Nintendo is being pretty smart about getting solid Japanese 3rd party support for the 3DS, which is essential for long term success for handhelds in the region.



IceClimbers said:

Apparently Nintendo and Capcom's exclusivity contract for new Monster Hunter games is up after 2015.

Nintendo, you better sign a new contract when the current one is up!!!!! Not doing so would be EXTREMELY stupid. Actually, why not make it so you at least co-own the franchise like you do with Tecmo Koei for Fatal Frame? Either way, the Monster Hunter + Pokemon exclusive combo that the 3DS has is something that is a major selling point if not the trump card.



Gabjazz said:

Well to be honest I dot like the ps4 even thought I have not played it but I had the ps3 which bored me a lot the only games keep me playing two yrs ago were cod and FIFA. Yeah I know FIFA is a waste but I think cod still more descent. I change to Nintendo consoles last year and I think it's way more fun and I liked those Mario games and to be honest I never played such a great game like Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze in a Sony console. I don't hate Sony but what I hate is that people talk trash about Nintendo when actually nintendo makes extremely fun games, that's my problem !
Please watch the profanity — TBD



3dcaleb said:

i just want them to give us youkai watch!!!! if its selling so good there why would they not give it to us in NA and everywhere else? i broke down finally and bought a vita to get gundam, sword art online, and some of the others that nintendo refuses to give us. but i'll wait and see what they announce at e3 before i get anything that nintendo might be releasing, as i'd rather have any game on the 3ds than the vita if possible. like one piece unlimited world red, will be way better in 3d, and i'll always go with nintendo if possible. i think i just bought the vita out of hatred of region lock.



Tops said:

Nintendo should offer to publish Yokai Watch outside of Japan. Level-5 are capable of doing it themselves but something needs to happen to get this game over here!!!



IceClimbers said:

@Alucard83 With this economy, people have a limited budget. Handhelds and home consoles will be competing for a spot in people's wallets. It's one or the other.



ikki5 said:

@IceClimbers With the sales they got on the 3DS from MH4, I am pretty sure they will try to keep it. Plus, the 3DS is the dominant console in Japan... out of all of them so Nintendo should have the upper hand with that.



Bizzyb said:

There are only 5 console games in that

Besides Metal Gear are there any Japanese centric games releasing anytime soon for PS4??



Mario-Man-Child said:

Wiiu is in a lot more trouble than PS4. Which is a pity because it has some fantastic Nintendo games. Nintendo's philosophy has always been 'software sells hardware' so hopefully Mario kart 8 can shift some hardware.

PS4 sales will drop for the next couple of years, it will get some good games and PS4 slim will come out with a price cut and it'll be business as usual.



8bitforever said:

@rjejr The PS4 is actually a good system. I think the lower sales are due to no games at the moment and the price itself. Japan has moved to a more handheld driven market anyhow. And Mario Kart 8 isn't going to save
the WiiU, I sold mine a week ago so I one of those people that isn't convinced over one game. There is a whole lot more wrong with Nintendo that led me to my decision. In the end Sony will eventually bury the WiiU and possibly the 3DS. That system is long in the tooth with not much coming out unless E3 brings surprises. I love my 3DS to a point but I have to say that Sony's account system and infrastructure are way better and Nintendo seem happy to not improve theirs. Only time will tell and I will be watching for sure.



8bitforever said:

@Blue-Thunder No, I sold it because there just isn't anything coming out for it I want to play and without an account system I am not buying their eshop stuff. I do love Nintendo and have been a fan for 20 years but their current strategy and lack of games has put me off. I just don't see any real future for WiiU. PS4 will be fine even with lower Japan sales since they are selling so much everywhere else. The WiiU is selling badly everywhere.



rjejr said:

@8bitforever - "and possibly the 3DS"

I agree w/ most of what you said, but do you really think Sony's Vita is going to topple 3DS? The 3DS is getting long in the tooth, and hopefully it's 4DS or 3DU replacement that will play games on tv is coming in the next year or 2, and smartphones may hamper even that. But if 3DS dies I can't see labeling Sony and Vita as the killer. (Worldwide Vita has sold about 8m compared to 3DS 44m, Japan is 3m to 15m)



8bitforever said:

@rjejr Yeah I don't think Vita will ever topple the 3DS. I just wonder if Nintendo will bring us another underpowered system or give us an HD version that will be with the money. I like 3DS but I would prefer a higher resolution. I would love a hybrid system that is handheld and would play on your TV.



stretch90 said:

It's not that surprising. It seems like Japanese customers don't care much about hype, and the PS4 is probably the most overrated console I've seen in a while. Over time it should have some good titles but it has nothing special right now and the upgrade from the PS3 is not significant.
I really don't see why so many people in other regions jumped on the console but I guess hype and hate for the X1 is what did it.



Mario-Man-Child said:

I agree with you on the eshop. I wouldn't buy anything myself, well at least not retail games.

Wiiu will get a few more in-house games and that will be it. I think that justifys the purchace. I'll be getting a PS4 in the future 'about two years'.



Rafie said:

@stretch90 So what do you think about the jump from Wii to Wii U or 360 to X1? Are those 2 is or isn't as significant as latter?

To those that are thinking this is DOOM for the PS4...think again! As some has stated earlier, consoles are starting to become less relevant in Japan. They're all about portables and smart devices now more than ever. ALSO, the fact that the PS4 did their numbers in 6 months speaks volumes of how well it's doing.

Unfortunately the Wii U still has some hurdles to climb before it really can compete with the PS4 in the sales front. The Wii U is such a fun system and capable. So don't take this as I'm saying the PS4 is better. I will never say it's better because it's subjective to the gamer's taste. I will say that the Wii U has the most promising line up of games this year though. No doubt!



stretch90 said:

I would say the X1 is less of an upgrade than the PS4 is. Obviously the Wii being in SD makes the Wii U easily the biggest jump, but they also brought an innovative gamepad which also changes gameplay in many ways.

This is definitely not doom for the PS4 but I think it's a reasonable response to the PS4, which imo is not a significant upgrade and really hasn't given me a reason to upgrade yet and may not for a while.

Japan is more of a handheld market but the Wii U has done pretty well in Japan compared to other regions and I would say the Wii U easily has the best selection of games right now and has a very promising lineup for 2014 including new reveals.`



Rafie said:

@stretch90 Well the Wii being in SD and jumping to HD with the Wii U is big, but not huge. The games still looked great even in SD. Anyway, the arguments that Wii U fans always say is that the gamepad is what makes the Wii U a more "prominent" buy. While I do agree with that sentiment, the XB1 has the Kinect. In that regard, it's an entity that extends to it's console like the gamepad does for the Wii U. Another thing to note is that, yes the jump from PS3 may not be huge, but it has become way more powerful. Just like the X1. No need to silently down play it.

The Wii U actually does better in America than any other territory. The PS4 exceeded the Wii U's lifetime sales and the amount of sales it's done in Japan in half a year. Wait a minute...we just established that. Disregard that.

I do agree that the Wii U has the better selection of games, however ,I also have to say that it did get a year head start on the other 2 for their great library of games. The odds is going to even up when 1st party from Sony and MS start piling up on top of 3rd party. Then again, saying the Wii U has the best selection of games out of all of them is also subjective from a technical standpoint. I do agree that it does though.



rjejr said:

@8bitforever - "another underpowered system or give us an HD version"

I'm guessing both HD (720p) and underpowered (compared to Vita).

The year old Kindle Fire HD is $139, 1280x800 and has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor.

Surely Nintendo can at least match that for $199. How much would it cost to add that stuff inside a 3DS? If they can't do that they shouldn't bother.

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