Big numbers for a beast of a game

So, Monster Hunter 4 is out now in Japan. While Capcom has admittedly had a hard time replicating the success of the franchise in the West, in Japan it's a sure thing, as a dedicated and monstrously large fan-base rarely hesitates to weigh-in on the latest entry. We'll give you one guess what'll be top of this week's Japanese charts when they're released.

This game is of huge importance to the 3DS, then, potentially helping to establish its dominance even further in Japan. Early indications from Capcom suggest that this title may be exceeding even its own lofty expectations; the company has announced that over two million copies were shipped in the first four days — while shipped doesn't mean sold, it clearly indicates significant demand. Perhaps more importantly for Nintendo's own efforts to promote the eShop platform, Capcom cited that number as including download sales, and the game is already at number three in the all-time eShop chart for the region.

We'll get an idea of solid retail sales in Wednesday's Media Create update, while we doubt Nintendo and Capcom will be shy of announcing eShop and overall sales in the coming days and weeks. If early demand is anything to go by, Capcom's target of 2.8 million sales by 31st March 2014 may get smashed.

Major success in Japan will, hopefully, lead to localisation to the West; perhaps Nintendo will need to step in to assist and make that happen, as it seemed to do with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. For our money it's a franchise that deserves another chance in the West — combine a large worldwide 3DS userbase with the fact this is an all-new entry (not an upscaled remaster) and it could be a breakthrough entry.

Whatever happens, Capcom's accountants will be happy today.