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TalkBack / Japanese Weekly Software and Hardware Charts for August 4-10
« on: August 18, 2008, 01:48:34 PM »
Dragon Quest slows down enough on the DS for an Xbox 360 RPG to beat it. No, seriously

 This week was a battle of the RPGs with Phantasy Star on the PSP going against Nintendo's own Fire Emblem on the DS. It seems that Nintendo lost out this time, maybe the PSP has found a new outlet for its crowd of Monster Hunter Portable owners?    

Even the Xbox 360 had an entry with the first Tales game for the console making an entry at No.4, an event that affected hardware sales too.    

  1. [PSP] Phantasy Star Portable (SEGA) 148,230 / 490,000  
  2. [NDS] Fire Emblem: New Shadow Dragons (Nintendo) 144,905 / New Entry  
  3. [NDS] Rhythm Tengoku Gold (Nintendo) 130,412 / 343,000  
  4. [360] Tales of Vesperia (Namco Bandai Games) 108,328 / New Entry  
  5. [NDS] Dragon Quest V (Square Enix) 72,598 / 1,019,000  
  6. [NDS] Sangokushi Taisen Ten (SEGA) 32,734 / New Entry  
  7. [NDS] Summon Night 2 (Namco Bandai) 29,715 / New Entry  
  8. [WII] Wii Fit (Nintendo) 27,414 / 2,470,000  
  9. [WII] Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) 22,739 / 1,656,000  
  10. [PS3] Soul Calibur IV (Namco Bandai) 22,575 / 97,000  

Something rarely seen outside of the west has occurred on the Japanese hardware charts: the Xbox 360 beat out the PlayStation 3 selling more than double its rival. This week also saw the DS retake its number one position after several weeks behind the PSP. The yearly sales also show that DS is over half a million units behind Sony’s handheld. Surprisingly Nintendo's systems have so far this year sold almost exactly the same amount, just a notch under two million units each.    

Weekly Sales / Year to date sales    

  • DS Lite - 60,434? / 1,938,946  
  • PSP - 58,501 / 2,510,556  
  • Wii - 38,506? / 1,947,145  
  • Xbox 360 - 24,962?/ 120,598  
  • PS3 - 9,673?/ 618,991  
  • PS2 - 8,503 / 235,686  

Wario flops into the charts and barely makes a splash.

 This was a mixed week for Nintendo with continuing high sales of Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit, but a disappointing start for Wario Land: Shake It.  In fact, if it weren't for Dragon Quest, Sony would own the top half of the charts entirely. However, Square Enix's fifth Nintendo DS remake seems to be doing very well and should easily take one million units in the next few weeks.    

01. [NDS] Dragon Quest V (Square Enix) - 190,438 / 834,000
 02. [PS2] Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 15 (Konami) - 83,855 / New Entry
 03. [PSP] Gundam Battle Universe (Namco Bandai Games) - 42,860 / 180,000
 04. [PSP] Eiyuu Densetsu: Sora no Kiseki the 3rd (Falcom) - 38,805 / New Entry
 05. [PS3] SIREN: New Translation (SCEI) - 34,532 / New Entry
 06. [NDS] Katekyoo Hitman Reborn! DS Flame Rumble Hyper - Moeyo Mirai (Takara Tomy) - 31,546 / New Entry
 07. [WII] Wii Fit (Nintendo) - 29,607 / 2,410,000
 08. [WII] Wario Land: Shake It! (Nintendo) - 25,377 / New Entry
 09. [WII] Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) - 25,359 / 1,610,000
 10. [WII] Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 15 (Konami) - 21,665 / New Entry

On the hardware front the PSP still remains king, while the PS3 dropped in sales significantly. This gives Nintendo a full 10,000 unit lead in combined unit sales of all their respective systems this week.    

01 - PSP 67,452
 02- DS Lite 56,968
 03 - Wii 41,024
 04 - PS3 10,692
 05 - PS2 9,291
 06 - Xbox 360 4,941

Dragon Quest popular in Japan? Say it aint so!

 The latest remake of the Dragon Quest series to hit the Nintendo DS went straight to the top spot this week, hardly surprising in a country which has a law against releasing "Dra-Que" games on a school day.  Wii Fit is showing no signs of slowing down during the hot summer months here in Japan and looks to be challenging Wii Sports for the biggest selling Wii game, not bad considering it costs almost twice as much.  Mario Kart Wii is also proving to have tremendous legs, already passing one and a half million sales.  The sequel to Band Bros. is selling strongly at No.7, a game not seen outside of these shores. Perhaps this will convince Nintendo of America to finally release it outside of Japan?  Bringing up the rear is the latest installment of the Stafi series, another title never released in the West, as well as the ever-present Monster Hunter Portable, of which sales seem to be slowing down after many weeks in the charts.    

  1. DS – Dragon Quest V – 644,000 / New Entry
  3. PSP – Gundam Battle Universe – 138,000 / New Entry
  5. PS2 – Persona 4 – 41,000 / 233,000
  7. PS3 – Tears to Tiara: Kakan no Daichi – 34,000 / New Entry
  9. Wii – Wii Fit – 27,000 / 2,380,000
  11. Wii – Mario Kart Wii – 24,000 / 1,584,000
  13. DS – Grand Ensemble! Band Brothers DX – 21,000 / 212,000
  15. DS – Derby Stallion DS - 6,000 / 223,000
  17. PSP – Monster Hunter Portable 2 G – 16,000 / 2,293,000
  19. DS – The Legend of Stafi : Pirate Gang Confrontation!– 16,000 / 44,000

Portables again seem to be the most popular hardware choice in Japan this week with the PSP leading the pack by almost 20,000 units.  If you compare total hardware units from Nintendo's two systems to Sony's three systems, there is only a 500-unit difference in favour of Nintendo. Some may call that a neck and neck race.   Who will come out on top during the summer vacation period of August? Only time will tell.    

  1. PSP – 74,024
  3. DS – 54,531
  5. Wii – 40,803
  7. PS3 – 11,253
  9. PS2 – 9,535
  11. 360 – 4,208

TalkBack / PREVIEWS: Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
« on: July 24, 2008, 12:12:45 PM »
Square Enix unveiled a new website for their DS RPG.

 New details about Square Enix’s latest Nintendo DS RPG, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, have been released through a new official website for the game.  It is currently in development by the H.A.N.D. team that created Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales on the DS and Chocobo's Dungeon on the Wii.    

The story revolves around how Roxas joined 'Organization XIII', and how he was apparently born from Sora during his year-long sleep between Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II.  Therefore, it is safe to assume that this game takes place between Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II in the timeline.    

According to the official website the title is pronounced ‘Kingdom Hearts: Three-Five-Eight Days Over Two’, and no details have been announced as to what the title refers to other than that the game will show the day-to-day life of Roxas in Organization XIII.  The game will feature all thirteen members of the team and apparently a mysterious female character as a new fourteenth member, who will be crucial to the story.    

It has been previously stated that the game will feature a 4-player cooperative multiplayer mode, although one separate to the main single player quest. There are still no final details about this however.    

The game is scheduled for a 2008 release in Japan. No US or European date has been mentioned as yet, although the developers have said they do plan to release it outside of Japan.

TalkBack / New Mega Man 9 Gets Price and DLC
« on: July 09, 2008, 07:19:30 PM »
The WiiWare title releases in Japan in September.

 It came as a surprise to many when Capcom announced Mega Man 9 as a retro NES-style game for WiiWare.  More surprising news was revealed today through a recent Famitsu article in that the game will have downloadable content. This opens up the possibilities of additional levels and bosses to be added at a later date.  The initial download will cost 1000 Wii points, no details have been announced on pricing of the DLC however.
 The game is set to be released in Japan in September this year, there is no date for the US and Europe as yet. Mega Man 9 is expected to be shown at E3 where we should learn more details about the game.

Wii Fit outruns Solid Snake in only his second week on the charts.

 Four new entries were made by Nintendo games last week including the top three best sellers. Nintendo's sequel to its music creation game, Band Bros DX made a bold entry at No.3. Meanwhile, proving that a good horse simulator can always sell well, Enterbrain's Derby Stallion dominated everything this week.    

Most surprising of all is how quickly the Playstation 3's flagship title has slipped down the charts, Metal Gear Solid 4 couldn’t even beat out the months old Wii Fit. It is a fair comparison as both titles have a high-end price tag of 8,800 Yen (about $80 US).    

  1. [DS] Derby Stallion DS (Enterbrain) – 148,000 / New Entry
  3. [Wii] Tales of Symphonia: Ratatosk no Kishi (Namco) – 137,000 / New Entry
  5. [DS] Daigasso! Band Brothers DX (Nintendo) – 120,000 / New Entry
  7. [PS2] Hisshou Pachinko (D3 Publisher) – 55,000 / New Entry
  9. [DS] Higurashi no Nakukoru ni Kizuna (Alchemist) – 42.000 / New Entry
  11. [Wii] Wii Fit (Nintendo) – 34,000 / 2,292,000
  13. [PS3] Metal Gear Solid 4 (Konami) – 34,000 / 566,000
  15. [Wii] Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) – 31,000 /1,508,000
  17. [Wii] Super Mario Stadium: Family Baseball (Nintendo) – 31,000 / 89,000
  19. [360] Mobile Suit Gundam: Operation: Troy (Bandai) – 28,000 / 28,000

  In hardware the Sony PSP handheld continues to dominate, beating the Nintendo DS by a clear 10,000 units.  As per usual, the Wii is outselling the PlayStation 3 at a ratio of 2:1. Total Sony hardware is behind total Nintendo hardware by about 10,000 units.    

  1. PSP – 58,861
  3. DS – 48,884
  5. Wii – 48,480
  7. PS3 – 17,973
  9. PS2 – 7,673
  11. 360 – 5,104

TalkBack / No Plans For a DVD-Playing Wii
« on: July 01, 2008, 08:38:28 AM »
Nintendo wants to focus on manufacturing the current model for now.

 During a stockholders meeting held on the 27th, the long talked about DVD-enabled Wii was discussed. Nintendo’s company president, Satoru Iwata, stated that they need to concentrate on producing as many of the current model as possible before thinking about a second iteration.    

The possibility of a DVD-movie playing Wii was first mentioned before the console first launched, but Nintendo later decided against the idea. The company stated back in September 2006 that the Wii would not have DVD functionality in order to keep costs down and because most people already own DVD players.    

Other news from the stockholders meeting concerned the DS TV receiver. Also known as the OneSeg Tuner, the device was previously only available online but will go to retail this July hoping to meet a wider audience.    

Importers beware, the OneSeg signal is specific to Japanese mobile devices such as mobile phones, and therefore will not operate in the US/Europe.

TalkBack / Traditional RPG Arc Rise Fantasia Announced for Wii
« on: June 28, 2008, 06:40:49 AM »
Developers of Luminous Arc and World Destruction help fill RPG void in the Wii's library

 Yet again Famitsu Weekly has revealed a new title in development for a Nintendo system. Marvelous is bringing Wii owners a traditional RPG from Image Epoch, Arc Rise Fantasia.    

Arc Rise Fantasia will feature a graphical style similar to that found in tri-Ace games. The title will also feature a widescreen option for 16:9 users to take advantage of.    

The game's featured "Trinity Battle System" involves a three-character party that shares an "AP gauge" that depletes as each character performs an action.  Characters will have the ability to attack more than once, or they can perform a single strong attack called a "Tandem Connect" which will be vital against stronger foes. However, these techniques will further deplete the AP gauge, leaving less for the other characters in the party. Another technique is the "Party Connect" feature. It is triggered when multiple characters in the party use the same skill at the same time and increases the effectiveness of the attack.    

The plot of the game remains a mystery at the moment, but it is known to revolve around the Meridian Empire's struggle against marauding dragons. The story revolves around a young man called Brite and his best friend Alse who joins him for the adventure. Two other female characters also join the party: the purple-haired Rifia and the elegant Adele.    

The title's development will also feature two famed game developers, Takumi Miyajima and Yasunori Mitsuda. Miyajima is in charge of the game's story and is known best for his work with the Tales series, specifically Tales of Symphonia and Tales of the Abyss. Mitsuda, composer for the Chrono Trigger series and some arrangements in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, will be composing the featured music of Arc Rise Fantasia.    

Currently there is no word on a solid release date for the title or potential regions for release outside of Japan. Japanese players will be able to keep track of the game through its official website.    

Nick DiMola contributed to this article.

TalkBack / Japanese Game Developer Offers to Pay Tuition Fees
« on: June 28, 2008, 06:24:39 AM »
All you have to do is study English with their DS game "Moe Star" and then ace a barrage of tests.

 The announcement of a new DS game called Moe Star: Moeru Todai Eigo Juku (meaning Tokyo University English Cram School) comes with a unique motivational twist for students to buy and use the software. The developers are offering 500,000 Yen (about $4,700 in US currency) towards tuition fees for students who attend certain Moesta events and pass a series of tests.    

Aimed squarely at males, the game involves several scantily clad female characters with names like "Word Angel" or "Grammar Angel" who help players in their respective areas of English study.    

Users progress through the story by playing games and answering questions.   There are also fully animated cut scenes, most of which revolve around a young male student in varying degrees of undress with the aforementioned "Angels."    

Owners of the Moe Star  can register for the events through the game's website. As one could expect, there are no plans to release this outside of Japan. Ever.

TalkBack / Densetsu no Stafi 5 Details Revealed, Website Opens
« on: June 17, 2008, 07:29:51 PM »
New details on latest installment of the Japan-only game series.

 New details of the fifth installment of the Japan-only “Stafy” series were revealed through a new website and a recent article from Famitsu magazine this week.    

The new title is called Densetsu no Stafy: Taiketsu Daiiru Kaizokudan, roughly translated as The Legend of Stafy: Pirate Gang Confrontation!  Stafy has a new Rabbit-shaped ally called “Rampa” who has the ability to transform our star-shaped hero.    

The new sequel allows many new transformations for Stafy including dragon and seal forms. The new website hints at there being up to four transformations in total.  Stafy’s sister, Stapy, is also returning. Stapy can join as a second player in the new co-op mode.    

Requiring just one player to have a copy of the DS game, a second player can join in certain areas and boss battles and is said to be a useful ally. Through Stapy, the second player will have certain unique abilities like a spin attack and a block breaking ability.    

Densetsu no Stafy: Taiketsu Daiiru Kaizokudan is scheduled to release in Japan on the 10th of July.    

As with the previous four games in the series, there are no plans from Nintendo to release the game in North America.

TalkBack / PREVIEWS: Band Brothers DX
« on: June 13, 2008, 06:15:43 PM »
Nintendo’s answer to Rock Band, on the DS

 Daigasso! Band Brothers DX (literally meaning “Grand Ensemble”) is a music creation game and sequel of the original Band Brothers, one of the DS launch titles in Japan back in 2004.    

The main part of the game has remained unchanged, hitting buttons and different directions on the d-pad in time with the music to onscreen prompts.  In this new DX sequel, players can now sing along in the karaoke mode and receive a score based on their performance.  It includes thirty tracks to play and sing along to.    

Like the original version, DX has a "hum recognition system" which converts a player's humming into the microphone into real sheet music on screen.  Different instruments can then be added to your songs as part of the in-depth music creation tool.  In addition to that, all user-created music can now be shared online with friends across the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection.    

The previous version expanded the track list using a GBA cart, but Nintendo has stated that you will be able to download about two hundred additional songs using the online service in DX.  The memory capacity for storing traded and other downloaded songs has been expanded from eight slots to one hundred.    

There will also be a specific “Wii Speaker Channel” for the game, allowing you to showcase your music through your television. This will be made available for download through the Wii Shopping Channel at the time of the title's release.  Like the original, this version has no planned US release.    

"Daigasso! Band Brothers DX" will be released in Japan on June 26

Is there room for two mat-based exercise games?

 There are two mat-based exercise games on the Wii in the charts this week. Bandai-Namoo’s Family Trainer game comes packaged with its own mat for 7,100 Yen (about $70) making it slightly cheaper than Wii Fit at 8,800 Yen. (about $80) It still has quite a way to go in terms of sales however, seeing a relatively modest first week sell through.    

Monster Hunter Portable is within touching distance of Wii Fit, behind by just 13,000 units.    

Nintendo’s own Beautiful Character Training, which includes a stylus in the shape of a calligraphy brush, makes another re-entry into the top 10, proving that pretty much all Nintendo casual games sell well - eventually.    

Sega must be pleased with Shiren the Wanderer’s entry at No.2, only beaten out by the latest DBZ : Burst Limit game on Playstation 3.    

Software Weekly Sales June 2 - 8 / Lifetime Sales

01. [PS3] Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit (Bandai-Namco) - 92,298 / New Entry
 02. [WII] Mysterious Dungeon: Fuurai no Shiren 3 (Sega) - 59,283 / New Entry
 03. [PSP] Powerful Pro Baseball Portable 3 (Konami) - 42,673 / 159,000
 04. [WII] Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) - 38,856 / 1,406,000
 05. [NDS] DS Misa Yamamura Suspense: Kyoto Murder Files - 38,122 / New Entry
 06. [PSP] Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (Capcom) - 35,185 / 2,177,000
 07. [WII] Wii Fit (Nintendo) - 33,595 / 2,190,000
 08. [360] Ninja Gaiden 2 (Tecmo) - 24,570 / New Entry
 09. [WII] Family Trainer (Bandai-Namco) - 15,405 / 59,000
 10. [NDS] DS Beautiful Letter Training (Nintendo) - 15,391 / 267,000

This week we have the lifetime total sales for hardware in Japan. It shows the PSP is still selling very well compared to the Wii, although it is somewhat behind its portable rival the Nintendo DS in terms of total sales.    

We can also see just how much the DS has broken the PS2 hardware sales records, and with sales still relatively high it may even reach the 23 million mark before 2009.    

Hardware Weekly Sales June 2 – 8 / Lifetime Sales

1. PSP - 62,016 - 9,554,668
 2. Wii - 44,639 - 6,180,489
 3. NDS - 35,020 - 22,661,987
 4. PS3 - 10,856 - 2,079,374
 5. PS2 -  6,279 - 21,169,002
 6. 360 - 2,280 - 570,028

Mario Kart Wii joins the Nintendo million-sellers club.

 Famicom Wars 2 (Battalion Wars 2 to you and me) finally gets released in Japan, making a decent, but not outrageous, entry at No.6. Link’s Bowgun (Crossbow) Training is also still in the top 10, despite it being a spin off from Twilight Princess which didn’t sell that well over here in the East.    

Meanwhile, Wii Sports teeters on the edge of its next milestone, the three million mark. With the total of Wii consoles in Japan being a little over six million, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that almost half of Wii owners now own a copy.  (Don't forget, Wii Sports was not bundled in with Japanese Wiis, unlike elsewhere in the world.) However, will anything be able to stop the massive momentum of the PSP Monster Hunter game still at No.1?    

  01. (02) [PSP] Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (Capcom) - 53,248 / 2,045,000
 02. (01) [Wii] Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) - 41,739 / 1,269,000
 03. (-) [NDS] Luminous Arc 2: Will (Marvelous Entertainment) - 40,753 / New Entry
 04. (-) [PSP] Bleach: Heat the Soul 5 (Sony) - 39,403 / New Entry
 05. (03) [Wii] Wii Fit (Nintendo) - 34,847 / 2,074,000
 06. (-) [Wii] Battalion Wars 2 (Nintendo) - 24,213 / New Entry
 07. (13) [NDS] DS Beautiful Letter Training (Nintendo) - 15,477 / 218,000
 08. (04) [Wii] Link's Crossbow Training (Nintendo) - 14,442 / 156,000
 09. (05) [NDS] Taiko Drum Master DS: Seven Island Adventure (Bandai-Namco) - 14,182 / 147,000
 10. (08) [Wii] Wii Sports (Nintendo) - 10,206 / 2,989,000

This week we have the yearly total sales for hardware. It clearly shows the top selling system of the week and year to be the PSP. The Wii is not far behind, but with all the major releases within both the hardcore and “expanded audience” categories already out in Japan, will it be able to catch up with Sony’s handheld? That all depends on what Nintendo have in store for the next half of the year.    


Hardware Sales - This Week – Yearly Total    

1. PSP - 70,536 - 1,754,623
 2. Wii - 41,572 - 1,419,792
 3. NDS - 34,905 - 1,378,157
 4. PS3 - 7,701 - 408,602
 5. PS2 - 7,022 - 221,294
 6. Xbox 360 - 1,474 - 56,501

In the land that GTA forgot: Mario Kart Wii on top.

 Mario Kart Wii continues its journey toward the one million mark. Monster Hunter Portable, however, is already aiming for double that number.    

The dual-stylus controlled drum rhythm game “Taiko Drum Master” was the highest new entry on a Nintendo platform this week coming in at No.4.    

  Weekly Sales/Total Sales to date    

01. [WII] Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) – 152,000 / 947,000
 02. [PSP] Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (Capcom) – 93,000 / 1,807,000
 03. [PS3] Valkyria Chronicles (Sega) – 77,000 / New Entry
 04. [NDS] Taiko Drum Master DS: Seven (Namco) – 56,000 / New Entry
 05. [NDS] Summon Night (Banpresto) – 38,000 / New Entry
 06. [WII] Wii Fit (Nintendo) – 37,000 / 1,934,000
 07. [NDS] We’re Fossil Diggers (Nintendo) – 22,000 / 58,000
 08. [NDS] Pokemon Ranger: Batonnage (Nintendo) – 20,000 / 477,000
 09. [NDS] DS Beautiful Kanji Training (Nintendo) – 18,000 / 167,000
 10. [PS2] Musou Orochi: The Evil King Returns (Koei) – 15,000 / 322,000

  The gap between the PlayStation 3 and the Wii got even bigger this week, with the sales ratio being 5:1 in favour of Nintendo’s system.  The PSP however continues to dominate, selling more than double of the Nintendo DS. The Monster Hunter Portable pack-in seems to be reaping in the big bucks for Sony.    

01. PSP – 92,411
 02. Wii – 48,796
 03. DS – 42,435
 04. PS3 – 9,107
 05. PS2 – 7,108
 06. 360 – 1,283

TalkBack / Japanese Weekly Software and Hardware Charts for April 7-14
« on: April 20, 2008, 09:04:50 PM »
DS software passes a huge milestone and Mario Kart Wii sells big.

 Mario Kart Wii made a bold entry in Nintendo’s home territory this week, selling well over half a million copies. Super Smash Bros. Brawl continued to slowly build on its 1.5 million sales so far, just barely in the top 10. Monster Hunter Portable, however, has already surpassed Brawl’s sales in a little over two weeks.    

This week, Media Create chimed in with a few significant milestones that were reached, the most notable that DS software sales have topped 100 million units in Japan alone. In fact 21 of the 922 DS games currently available are million sellers in the territory, with New Super Mario Bros at the top with 5,174,163 sold. Even more impressively, the DS managed all of this in just under three and a half years, beating out the previous champion (the PS2) by almost a year.    

Weekly Sales/Total Sales to date    

01. [Wii] Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) – 594,000 / New Entry
 02. [PSP] Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (Capcom) – 222,000 / 1,590,000
 03. [PS2] Musou Orochi: The Evil King Returns (Koei) – 56,000 / 283,000
 04. [Wii] Wii Fit (Nintendo) – 31,000 / 1,865,000
 05. [NDS] Pokemon Ranger: Batonnage (Nintendo) – 30,000 / 436,000
 06. [NDS] Tottado! Yowiko’s Deserted Island Life (Namco) – 26,000 / 65,000
 07. [PS2] Pro Baseball Spirits 5 (Konami) – 22,000 / 102,000
 08. [PSP] Star Ocean 2: Second Evolution (SquareEnix) – 18,000 / 108,000
 09. [Wii] Deca Sporta (Hudson) – 17,000 / 133,000
 10. [Wii] Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo) – 14,000 / 1,563,000

This week painted a very confusing picture for Sony due to a celebration of the strong PSP sales paired with lackluster PlayStation 3 sales.    

01. PSP – 85,721
 02. DS – 47,158
 03. Wii – 46,296
 04. PS3 – 8,232
 05. PS2 – 6,834
 06. Xbox 360 - 1,147

A different kind of Pocket Monster rips the charts wide open.

 Merely two months ago Super Smash Bros. Brawl sold a mighty respectable 820,000 in its opening week. This week however saw a massive sell-through of the second most popular monster fighting game in Japan (after Pokemon) with Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G.    

This shows that the defection of Monster Hunter 3 (currently in production) from PlayStation 3 to Wii, could turn out to be an important strategic move for Nintendo.    

This week also saw Brawl finally hit the 1.5 million sales that North America managed in a fraction of the time.    

01. [PSP] Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (Capcom) – 880,000 / New Entry
 02. [NDS] Pokemon Ranger: Batonnage (Nintendo) – 106,000 / 348,000
 03. [NDS] Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (Bandai) – 49,000 / New Entry
 04. [Wii] Wii Fit (Nintendo) – 42,000 / 1,794,000
 05. [PSP] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion… (Namco) – 34,000 / New Entry
 06. [Wii] Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo) – 34,000 / 1,524,000
 07. [PS2] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion… (Namco) – 30,000 / New Entry
 08. [Wii] Deca Sports (Hudson) – 29,000 / 94,000
 09. [NDS] SimCity DS 2: From the Past to the Future (EA) – 25,000 / 74,000
 10. [NDS] Crayon Shin-chan: Arashi (Banpresto) – 19,000 / 54,000

Monster Hunter sales also affected hardware with PSP dominating this week, selling double that of the Nintendo DS.    

PSP – 129,986
 NDS – 58,916
 Wii – 48,785
 PS3 – 11,206
 PS2 – 10,296
 360 – 1,547

TalkBack / IMPRESSIONS: Television's Friend Channel
« on: March 29, 2008, 07:46:29 PM »
It's a friendly TV guide on your Wii.  At least, it is if you’re Japanese...

 The Terebi no Tomo Channel, literally meaning [Your] Television’s Friend Channel, is a Japan-exclusive Wii channel that acts as an interactive TV guide for the television.  The channel is free and has several interesting features.    

The service uses the G-Guide television programming system which lets users search for programs by title, other key words and by genre.  The interface lists a week's worth of shows which can be filtered in different ways, such as by age, time, and which shows console users have selected to watch.  When switching to a week view, the listings page zooms out to a 3D overview, showing a line of sheets that each represent a day of the upcoming week.    

 The Japanese trailer for the Terebi no Tomo (Television's Friend) channel on Wii, highlighting the features of the TV guide..

The guide has Mii integration, allowing family members to stamp their face on a TV show they are interested in watching.  What's more, the channel can e-mail users a reminder before a stamped show starts via the Wii Message Board and setting up the functionality within the channel under a registered Mii name.  It will also keep track of what all other channel users have stamped and popular programs will be rated with a high star rating.


The most intriguing aspect of this channel is that it allows Wii Remote control of your actual TV set. Functions are limited to basic channel selection and volume adjustment. Since the Wii does not emit the infrared signal that is required to operate televisions, Nintendo achieved this by sending the television command from the Wii sensor bar, which bounces off the Wii Remote's pointer head and back to the television.  Nintendo recommends placing the sensor bar near to where the TV set receives it normal remote control information for optimal performance of this.    

There are no current plans to release this channel in North America or Europe.  Nintendo has previously suggested that such a channel is not required in those territories, as viable electronic TV guides exist already.    

Steven Rodriguez contributed to this article.

Stop the press! Pokemon still popular in Japan!

 This week saw seven new entries in the top ten, with the new Pokemon Ranger game coming out the clear leader.  Hudson’s Wii Sports alternative Deca Sports (Known as Deca Sporta in Japan) managed a respectable entry at No.2.  Hudson still has a long way to go to reach Wii Sports astronomical sales figures.    

01. [NDS] Pokemon Ranger: Batonnage (Pokemon) – 242,000 / New Entry
 02. [Wii] Deca Sports (Hudson) – 65,000 / New Entry
 03. [PS3] Armored Core for Answer (From Software) – 54,000 / New Entry
 04. [NDS] SimCity DS 2: From the Past to the Future (EA) – 49,000 / New Entry
 05. [Wii] Wii Fit (Nintendo) – 48,000 / 1,752,000
 06. [PSP] Tales of Rebirth (Namco) – 47,000 / New Entry
 07. [Wii] Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo) – 41,000 / 1,490,000
 08. [NDS] Crayon Shin-chan: Arashi… (Banpresto) – 35,000 / New Entry
 09. [NDS] DS Beautiful Kanji Training (Nintendo) – 35,000 / 101,000
 10. [NDS] Time Hollow: Seeking the Lost Past (Konami) – 34,000 / New Entry

The hardware front is looking a bit more familiar this week, with both Nintendo platforms at the top.  In the console race this week, the Wii outsold the PlayStation 3 with a ratio of more than 4:1.    

DS – 65,055
 Wii – 62,404
 PSP – 59,833
 PS3 – 12,874
 PS2 – 9,990
 360 – 1,407

TalkBack / Japanese Weekly Software Charts for March 10-16
« on: March 22, 2008, 05:13:29 PM »
Super Smash Bros. Brawl gets pushed down by Beautiful Writing and Japanese gangsters.

 This week shows yet again how strong the casual market is in Japan. Nintendo’s own calligraphy and Chinese character training game stormed right to the top, just ahead of the new PlayStation 3 Yakuza title.    

Wii Fit also continued to impress, heading slowly but surely towards the two million mark. Meanwhile, Wii Sports continues its phenomenal sales, which could make it seem like a system pack-in, despite it not being so in Japan.    

Metroid Prime 3, which made a bold entry at No. 5 last week, slipped to No. 11 this week. Even Everyone's General Knowledge Training TV slid way down to No. 14, despite it being predicted to be another big seller with the casual/family market.    


  Sales this week / Total sales to date    

01. [NDS] Beautiful Kanji Training (Nintendo) – 66,000 / New Entry
 02. [PS3] Yakuza 3: Kenzan! (Sega) – 46,000 / 227,000
 03. [WII] Wii Fit (Nintendo) – 45,000 / 1,704,000
 04. [WII] Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo) – 41,000 / 1,449,000
 05. [PS2] Gundam Musou Special (Bandai-Namco) – 24,000 / 213,000
 06. [NDS] Shugo Character! The Three Eggs… (Konami) – 20,000 / New Entry
 07. [PS2] Daito Giken Koushi Pachislot Simulator… (Paon) – 18,000 / New Entry
 08. [WII] Wii Sports (Nintendo) – 17,000 / 2,855,000
 09. [NDS] Harvest Moon: Shining Sun and Friends (Marvelous) – 11,000 / 93,000
 10. [WII] Wii Play (Nintendo) – 11,000 / 2,271,000    

This week we have the year-to-date hardware sales and they show what a close race it is between the Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable and the Wii.    


Hardware - This Week / Total 2008 Sales    

1. PSP - 57,651 / 918,997
 2. WII - 55,845 / 944,254
 3. NDS - 53,266 / 926,177
 4. PS3 - 14,934 / 322,510
 5. PS2 - 9,930 / 146,810
 6. Xbox 360 - 1,744  / 44,092

TalkBack / Japanese Weekly Software and Hardware Charts for Feb. 18-24
« on: March 01, 2008, 02:24:13 PM »
Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Wii hardware top the charts yet again.

 Nothing too surprising this week, as Super Smash Bros Brawl remains at the top position. The only new entry this week is Winning Eleven Play Maker 2008 on the Wii, which uses a new and unique control scheme.  If Konami’s new control method catches on, maybe the Wii will see more sports games have better  Wii controls in the future.    

  Sales / Total Sales    

01. [WII] Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo) – 78,000 / 1,291,000
 02. [NDS] Etrian Odyssey II: The Royal Grail (Atlus) – 69,000
 03. [WII] Wii Fit (Nintendo) – 62,000 / 1,546,000
 04. [PSP] Musou Orochi (Koei) – 47,000
 05. [NDS] Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness (Marvelous) – 45,000
 06. [WII] Winning Eleven Play Maker 2008 (Konami) – 36,000 / New Entry
 07. [PS3] Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (Capcom) – 23,000
 08. [360] Bioshock (Spike) – 18,000
 09. [WII] Wii Sports (Nintendo) – 17,000 / 2,798,000
 10. [NDS] Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (Nintendo) – 15,000 / 236,000

For hardware, this week saw the Wii at the top yet again, ahead of Sony’s PSP. It also saw the PlayStation 3 take a huge drop in sales, managing less than a quarter of Nintendo’s home console sales.    

  Weekly Hardware Sales

01 Wii - 63,504
 02 PSP - 53,373
 03 DS Lite - 50,151
 04 PS3 - 14,060
 05 PS2 - 9,634
 06 Xbox 360 - 2,001

TalkBack / PREVIEWS: Pokemon Farm
« on: February 27, 2008, 12:50:35 PM »
New information from Nintendo of Japan sheds a little light on the WiiWare title.

 The WiiWare title previously known as Pokemon Ranch and then Pokemon Farm has been officially named Minna no Pokemon Bokujou (Everyone’s Pokemon Ranch) in Japan.  The game will expand the amount of Pokemon you can store for the Nintendo DS version, in a similar fashion to Pokemon Box on the GameCube. You will be able to transfer up to 1,000 of your creatures onto the Wii from  Pokemon Diamond or Pearl.    

The game will also act as a way of viewing, sorting and interacting with your Pokemon collection in a variety of ways.  Activities include petting, riding on the Pokemon and sitting around a campfire.  You will also be able to take pictures at any time and send them either to the Wii Message Board or save them to an SD card.    

The Pokemon will walk around your ranch at their own accord, but can be ordered to stand in formations in a way similar to how players can organize Miis in the Mii Channel.  The Pokemon appear to not be sized to scale in the channel, but will rather all roughly be the same size on screen.  A character called Yukari is the owner of the ranch and appears as a Mii in the game. She is a friend of Bebe from the Diamond and Pearl games.      

No release date for Pokemon Farm has been announced for North America, but Minna no Pokemon Bokujou will be available to download in Japan this March.  The amount of Wii Points the game will cost has not been disclosed yet.

TalkBack / Japanese Weekly Software and Hardware Charts for Feb 11-17
« on: February 22, 2008, 02:03:16 PM »
Hardcore and casual battle for the top spot!

 Another great week for Super Smash Bros Brawl, it’s already looking like it  will match Wii Fit’s sales within one or two weeks. Apart from Brawl, sales were pretty low all round this week. Even the latest Naruto game on Nintendo DS only managed a meagre 17,000 units.  Meanwhile Super Mario Galaxy moved further down the charts to No. 28.    

Sales / Total Sales    

01. [Wii] Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo) - 142,000 / 1,213,000
 02. [Wii] Wii Fit (Nintendo) - 63,000 / 1,484,000
 03. [NDS] Tokimeki Memorial: Girls Side 2nd Season (Konami) - 56,000 / New Entry
 04. [PS2] Poison Pink (Banpresto) - 53,000 / New Entry
 05. [PS2] Kimi Kiss (Enterbrain) - 34,000 / New Entry
 06. [Wii] Wii Sports (Nintendo) - 22,000 / 2,781,000
 07. [PSP] Mobile Suit Gundam: Gihren’s Ambition… (Bandai) - 22,000 / 144,000
 08. [NDS] Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (Nintendo) - 21,000 / 222,000
 09. [PS3] Devil May Cry 4 (Capcom) - 18,000 / 255,000
 10. [NDS] Naruto: Shippuuden Dairansen… (Tomy) - 17,000 / New Entry

  Nintendo hardware returns to the No. 1 and 2 spots this week, but surprisingly the Wii stays on top. Brawl appears to be continuing to help push hardware sales well into its third week.    

  Weekly Hardware Sales

01 Wii - 78,583
 02 DS Lite - 62,362
 03 PSP - 59,654
 04 PS3 - 17,637
 05 PS2 - 11,266
 06 Xbox 360 - 2,198

TalkBack / Japanese Weekly Software and Hardware Charts for Feb 4-10
« on: February 15, 2008, 11:20:03 PM »
Smash Bros. Brawl beats out two balance board games.

 This week saw things return to normal, with seven out of the top ten games being on Nintendo platforms.  Super Smash Bros. Brawl clocked up one million in sales as expected, which it managed in just eleven days. That makes it the fastest-selling Wii game on record to reach that number, beating out even Wii Fit, which managed it in seven weeks.  It will be interesting to see if Brawl will be able to sustain those huge sales in the long run.    

Family Ski, the only other Wii game to support the balance board at this point, also crept into the top ten this week.  And Wii Sports continues to sell well, getting closer to the three million mark every week.  At this rate, it will take another three months to reach that goal.    

Sales / Total Sales    

01. [WII] Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo) – 252,000 / 1,071,000
 02. [PSP] Mobile Suit Gundam: Gihren’s Ambition… (Bandai) – 123,000 / New Entry
 03. [WII] Wii Fit (Nintendo) – 65,000 / 1,421,000
 04. [PS3] Devil May Cry 4 (Capcom) – 32,000 / 237,000
 05. [NDS] Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (Nintendo) – 26,000 / 200,000
 06. [WII] Wii Sports (Nintendo) – 21,000 / 2,759,000
 07. [NDS] L, Prologue to Death Note… (Konami) – 20,000 / New Entry
 08. [WII] Family Ski (Namco) – 18,000 / 42,000
 09. [PS2] Tales of Destiny: Director’s Cut (Namco) – 17,000 / 133,000
 10. [NDS] Mario Party DS (Nintendo) – 16,000 / 1,617,000

On the hardware front, the Wii retains the top position, beating out the Nintendo DS once again. This is also the second consecutive week that the PSP has trumped the Nintendo handheld, possibly due to this week’s release of Mobile Suit Gundam on Sony’s portable.    

Weekly Hardware Sales

01. Wii – 81,737
 02. PSP – 75,912
 03. DS – 60,464
 04. PS3 – 23,985
 05. PS2 – 11,038
 06. 360 – 3,615

TalkBack / Japanese Weekly Software and Hardware Charts for Jan. 28-Feb. 3
« on: February 09, 2008, 12:23:26 PM »
The week Mario and friends smashed The Devil and made him cry.

 Incredibly, there were six new non-Nintendo entries this week - even one on the Xbox 360.  In fact, this week there are only three Nintendo games in the top ten, which is quite a change of pace from the norm.    

Of course the front-runner was Nintendo’s hotly-anticipated mascot brawler Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which sold an astounding 820,000 copies in just three days. It will no doubt pass the one million mark next week, much faster than even Wii Fit.  It should also be noted that it sold precisely four times as many copies as the second-place PS3 version of Devil May Cry 4, one of the biggest releases on Sony’s platform this year.    

Sales / Total Sales

01. [Wii] Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo) – 820,000 / (New Entry)
 02. [PS3] Devil May Cry 4 (Capcom) – 205,000 / (New Entry)
 03. [PS2] Tales of Destiny: Director’s Cut (Bandai-Namco) – 117,000 / (New Entry)
 04. [PS2] Haruhi Suzumiya’s Wonderment (Banpresto) – 114,000 / (New Entry)
 05. [Wii] Wii Fit (Nintendo) – 73,000 / 1,356,000)
 06. [PS3] Disgaea 3 (Nippon Ichi Software) – 55,000 / (New Entry)
 07. [360] Devil May Cry 4 (Capcom) – 40,000 / (New Entry)
 08. [NDS] Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (Nintendo) – 34,000 / 175,000)
 09. [PS3] Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft) – 28,000 / (New Entry)
 10. [PSP] World Soccer Winning Eleven (Konami) – 26,000 / 102,000)

The effects of Super Smash Bros. Brawl were also felt in hardware sales.  Wii sales rose to almost 100,000 for the week, beating out the DS and PSP with ease.    

Weekly Hardware Sales

Wii - 94,473?
 PSP - 72,528?
 DS Lite - 67,472
 PS3 - 41,796
 PS2 - 12,115?
 Xbox 360 - 6,060

TalkBack / Japanese Weekly Software and Hardware Charts for Jan. 21-27
« on: February 06, 2008, 11:13:08 AM »
The week soon to be known as “The calm before the Brawl.”

 Nothing too surprising this week.  Wii Fit is still selling its $80 boxes at an incredible rate and Wii Sports is still  going strong. There was, however, an unusual influx of PlayStation titles, including the latest version of the ever-popular soccer simulator Winning Eleven on PSP.    

Monster Hunter Portable on PSP is almost neck and neck with Mario Party DS in terms of weekly and overall sales, jostling for the No.6 position.    

Sales / Total Sales
 01. Wii Fit (Wii) – 89,000 / 1,283,000
 02. Winning Eleven: Ubiquitous Evolution 2008 (PSP) – 77,000 / New Entry
 03. Lucky Star (PS2) – 72,000 / New Entry
 04. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (DS) – 50,000 / 140,000
 05. Wii Sports (Wii) – 26,000 / 2,714,000
 06. Mario Party DS (DS) – 22,000 / 1,581,000
 07. Monster Hunter Portable 2nd (PSP) – 21,000 / 1,555,000
 08. Doraemon Baseball (DS) – 20,000 / 138,000
 09. Yggdra Union (PSP) – 17,000 / New Entry
 10. Professor Layton and the Devil's Box (DS) – 15,000 / 746,000

This is all insignificant however, to what will no doubt be unprecedented sales of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which was released here in Japan on the 31st. Initial reports say all of the initial shipment was sold out within days. The lengths that the Tokyo branch of NWR had to go to in order to secure a copy is testament to how in demand the game was at launch.    

On the hardware side of things, the Wii was lagging behind the PSP again this week, which is also reflected in the total-to-date sales of the system. Naturally the DS is the clear leader, and has already passed the half-million mark in 2008 alone.    

Weekly Sales (Year-to-Date Sales)
 1. DS – 79,370 (532,000)
 2. PSP – 77,933 (472,000)
 3. Wii – 74,544 (450,000)
 4. PS3 – 34,363 (175,000)
 5. PS2 – 11,364 (71,000)
 6. Xbox 360 – 4,296 (23,000)

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