The long-running Harvest Moon
series had one of its best launch weeks ever in Japan with its new 3DS entry, which reports suggest is attracting more female gamers to Nintendo's portable console.
Harvest Moon: The Land of Origin
sold 81,131 copies last week; that's more than any release from the Marvelous AQL series (published by Natsume in North America) has ever sold in its first week since Media Create began tracking video game sales in 2002.
Most games from the 15-year-old franchise have sold less than half that amount in their launch weeks, though 2010's Harvest Moon: Twin Villages
for DS set the last record with 65,074 copies sold -- notably to a much larger DS-owning userbase than the 3DS audience.
One Japanese retailer reported
that increased interest from females may make the game a success, describing a "rare occasion" in his store where "more than half the customers were female."
Meanwhile, Sony's competing portable console, the PS Vita, continues to suffer. The console only sold 11,186 units during the week, representing a record low as it continues its weekly declines. No Vita software titles managed to crack the retail top twenty, including Tecmo Koei's Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus
, which released last week.
The Vita continues to be outperformed by Nintendo 3DS (76,322 units sold last week) and the Sony handheld's predecessor, the PSP, which has been on Japanese retail shelves just over seven years now.
By comparison, PSP sold 15,928 units during the week, and had seven titles tracking on the charts, including the best-selling retail game in Japan last week, Bandai Namco's Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave
. The publisher's I Don't Have Many Friends Portable
and Nendoroid Generation
, both PSP titles, also performed well.
For the PS3, Namco Bandai's Naruto Shippuden: Narutimate Storm Generation
and The Idolmaster: Gravure For You! Vol.5
, Capcom's Asura's Wrath
, and Compile Heart's Touch, Shot! Love Application
were the top-selling new releases.
Full software and hardware sales chart provided by Media Create and translated by NeoGAF are available here