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2005's Best-Selling Games Revealed In Japan

Following similar charts released for the <a href="http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=7794">U.S. market</a> and <a href="http://www.gamasutra.com/php-b...

David Jenkins, Blogger

January 16, 2006

3 Min Read

Following similar charts released for the U.S. market and UK market, the overall top ten selling games in Japan during 2005 have been published in the latest issue of Japanese magazine Famitsu, as partially translated by consumer website GameSpot. With the Nintendo DS dominating hardware sales during the year, it was no surprise to find Oide yo Doubutsu no Mori (aka Animal Crossing: Wild World) at number one with approximately 1.17 million copies sold. The second ranked title, and one of the few games to feature prominently in the top tens from all three countries, was Sony’s Gran Turismo 4 for the PlayStation 2, with 1.07 million units sold. The first of Nintendo’s Brain Training games, to be known as Brain Flex in the West, was at number three with 1.01 million copies sold. Apart from two weeks in December, the game has been in the Japanese top ten since May – an unusual feat in any territory, but particularly so in Japan where the charts are usually especially fluid and dominated by new releases. With Nintendogs at number four in the chart, there is further evidence that the Nintendo DS is appealing not only to different types of customers to traditional video games, but also that their buying habits are radically different to previously established patterns. The number five ranked game was Konami’s World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 (the basis for Pro Evolution Soccer 5 in Europe) on the PlayStation 2, followed by Koei’s Shin Sangoku Musou 4 (aka Dynasty Warriors 5) on PS2 at number six. Nintendo’s second Brain Training game, to be known as Brain Age in the West, was at number seven, followed by Bandai’s Tamagotchi no PuchiPuchi Omisecchi at number eight – the most successful third party Nintendo DS game so far in Japan. The top ten was rounded out by Kingdom Hearts II for PlayStation 2 at number nine and Mario Kart DS at number ten. The 1,084 new releases in Japan during 2005 sold a combined 55.43 million units, down slightly on 2004 thanks to the lack of any major multi-million selling titles such as Dragon Quest VIII. Overall, though, the market has grown in Japan during 2005 by 6 percent, with the slight dip in software sales being outweighed by an almost 50 percent gain in hardware. Nintendo easily dominated the other publishers during 2005 with 13.32 million software units sold, including titles published by subsidiary The Pokémon Company. This was more than twice that of nearest rival Bandai, who were followed in order by Konami, Sony and, in a unusually poor year for the company, Square Enix. As noted, the Nintendo DS was the best selling hardware of the year, with more than 4 million units sold, compared to 2.23 million for the PSP, 2.13 million for the PlayStation 2, 831,221 for the Game Boy Advance SP, 394,845 for the Game Boy Micro, 305,000 for the GameCube, 81,770 for the Xbox 360, 28,945 for the original Game Boy Advance and 13,186 for the original Xbox.

About the Author(s)

David Jenkins


David Jenkins ([email protected]) is a freelance writer and journalist working in the UK. As well as being a regular news contributor to Gamasutra.com, he also writes for newsstand magazines Cube, Games TM and Edge, in addition to working for companies including BBC Worldwide, Disney, Amazon and Telewest.

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