Japan’s physical game market slows despite SNES Mini boom

Katharine Byrne
Japan’s physical game market slows despite SNES Mini boom

As we reported on Wednesday, the SNES Mini was the main story of Japanese retail this week, out-selling both the Switch and the NES Mini in its first week, according to the latest figures from Famitsu. The NES Mini, by comparison, sold just 263,000 units in its first week on sale, but the SNES Mini managed an impressive 369,000 units.

Otherwise, it was a pretty slow week for software sales, with just six titles selling more than 10,000 copies. The biggest of the lot was Nintendo's 3DS re-release of GBA classic Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, which claimed the top spot with 28,000 units. For reference, the original GBA game sold 64,000 copies when it launched back in November 2003.

Capcom's Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, meanwhile, debuted at No.3 with just under 13,000 units sold, and Ubisoft's Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 entered the charts at No.7 with just under 10,000 sales.

As a result, Splatoon 2 rose back up the charts to No.2 despite a 37 per cent decline in sales week-on-week, as did Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which jumped three places to No.5 even though sales actually dipped by 17 per cent. FIFA 18, on the other hand, went in the other direction, dropping from No.2 to No.4 after a 77 per cent drop. The week before's No.1, Trails of Cold Steel III, also dropped down the charts to No.8 after sales fell by 91 per cent. 

Elsewhere in the hardware market, console sales were down as well, with the Switch reaching just 38,000 units after its 74,500 surge the week before. Even PS4 sales took a dive last week, with Sony's regular console failing to break 20,000. The only console that saw any growth was the New Nintendo 2DS XL, which sold almost 14,000 copies, likely off the back of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.

Here's the Top Ten software chart in full for the week ending October 8th:

1. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions (3DS), Nintendo, 28,163 (New)
2. Splatoon 2 (Switch), Nintnedo, 18,322
3. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen (PS4), Capcom, 12,998 (New)
4. FIFA 18 (PS4), EA, 12,916
5. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch), Nintendo, 12,773
6. Pokken Tournament DX (Switch), Pokemon Company, 12,199
7. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 (PS4), Ubisoft, 9,825 (New)
8. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 (PS4), Nihon Falcom, 9,347
9. Fire Emblem Warriors (Switch), Koei Tecmo, 8,436
10. Pokemon Gold/Silver (Download Card Version) (3DS), Nintendo, 7,618

And here are the hardware numbers for the same period:

Nintendo Switch, 38,425
PS4, 19,133
New Nintendo 2DS XL, 13,979
New Nintendo 3DS XL, 8,065
PS4 Pro, 6,265
PS Vita, 3,987
Nintendo 2DS, 1,227
Xbox One S, 189
New Nintendo 3DS, 135
PS3, 46
Wii U, 35

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