Monster Hunter Breaks Portable Records In Japanese Charts

Capcom’s Monster Hunter Freedom 2 on PSP has become the fastest selling third-party portable game in Japanese history, in an atypical top ten that has also seen EA's SimCity DS chart, and a PSP hardware sales boost that has brought it close
The release of Capcom's second Monster Hunter title for the PSP has proven an even greater success than expected in Japan, with the title becoming the fastest selling third party portable game on any format – including the Nintendo DS. The game, to be released in the West in September as Monster Hunter Freedom 2, sold over 700,000 units – a significant amount for any title in Japan, but particularly in contrast to the normally reserved sales of PSP software. By comparison, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd is one of only two PSP titles in the top thirty, with Tales of Destiny 2, last week’s number two, at number twenty-five. Although a more minor franchise in the West, the Monster Hunter series, often compared in gameplay terms to Sega’s Phantasy Star Online, is one of Capcom’s most successful in Japan, on both PSP and PlayStation 2. This week’s Japanese chart is notable for several other reasons, with indie title Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (which roughly translates as When Cicadas Cry) being an essentially fan-made visual novel with a murder mystery theme for PS2. Despite its limited resources, the title managed impressive first week sales of 80,000 units. Although Nintendo has only one first-party Nintendo DS title in the top ten – a previously unthinkable prospect over the last two years – the publisher will nevertheless be celebrating, with no less than four Wii titles in the top ten. The top-ranked is the latest in the Fire Emblem series, with over 75,000 units sold, with Takara Tomy’s motion control version of the Naruto: Clash of Ninja series entering at number seven, with nearly 46,000 sales. The final curiosity in the chart is the presence of an Electronic Arts game in the top ten, with the Japanese developed version of SimCity proving a sizable hit at number four with almost 51,000 unit sales. This success is likely to embolden the publisher’s subsequent attempts to appeal to a Japanese audience, despite the recent closure of its only development studio in the country. For the first time since the console’s release, there were no PlayStation 3 titles in the top fifty, while the highest ranked Xbox 360 title was Riot Act (aka Crackdown) at number twenty-one. In hardware sales the Nintendo DS was, as usual, the best selling console, with stock still constrained at a total of 136,260 units sold. Thanks to the release of Monster Hunter Portable 2nd, sales for the PSP tripled to 100,210 units sold – the console’s best performance in over twelve months. The release of Fire Emblem also saw an increase in Wii sales by almost 15,000 units, to a total of 78,506. PlayStation 3 sales dropped slightly to 19,315 units, while the PlayStation 2 fell to 15,054 units and the Xbox 360 fell to 4,183 units sold. The Game Boy Advance family of consoles sold 2,001 units in total, and the GameCube 323.
TWLWTitlePublisherFormatWeekly Sales
1NEMonster Hunter Portable 2ndCapcomPSP705,281
2NEHigurashi no Naku Koro ni MatsuriAlchemistPS280,002
3NEFire Emblem: Akatsuki no MegamiNintendoWii75,359
4NESimCity DSEADS50,826
51Layton Kyouju no Fushigi na MachiLevel-5DS49,979
68Wii SportsNintendoWii47,053
7NENaruto Shippuuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EXTakara TomyWii45,792
87Dragon Quest Monsters - JokerSquare EnixDS40,507
99Hajimete no WiiNintendoWii35,811
106Picross DSNintendoDS26,693
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