Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate arrived in Japan — where's it's known as Monster Hunter 4G — on 11th October, alongside the New Nintendo 3DS models. An expansion of the original Monster Hunter 4, it looks set to recreate the success of that release.
Capcom has issued a press release outlining the early progress of the new title, stating that early sales are on track with the company's expectations. Monster Hunter 4G has shipped more than two million copies in its first five days on sale, which also includes download cards and direct eShop sales. Monster Hunter 4 enjoyed a similarly impressive start and has shipped over 4.1 million units in total, so Capcom will be hoping that this expanded and enhanced version will hit the same heights; in Japan content and data from the first game can be transferred to 4G, to further encourage double dips as well as newcomers.
Capcom reports that, as a franchise, Monster Hunter has now shipped over 31 million units; 2014 is the 10th anniversary year for the series. Nintendo will undoubtedly hope that success with Monster Hunter 4G / Ultimate will solidify Capcom's commitment to bringing its mainline series entries as exclusives to its hardware, with the 3DS games proving particularly lucrative in Japan. While various spin-offs have been on other systems recently, strong related sales suggest that the Monster Hunter series has been an important part of the 3DS' success in Nintendo and Capcom's homeland.
Those of us in the West have a bit of a wait for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate — it's due in early 2015, but you can always have a read of our recent preview if you want to know what we think of it so far.