Sony Dominating Japanese Software Sales, Despite 3DS Launch

By Darryl Kaye on March 17, 2011, 9:44PM EDT

The Nintendo 3DS is the talk of the town right now in the West, with record pre-orders for Nintendo's latest console. It was a similar story in Japan too, as the console sold out on launch-day. However, even though only a short period of time has passed since that moment, the hype, at least in Japan, has already started dying away. Indeed, this week's Media Create results show that despite everything being about Nintendo, Sony are dominating the software sales and aren't all that far behind in the hardware sales.

Out of the Top 20 selling titles for the week which ended on the 13th of March, ten were on Sony's platforms, and ten were on Nintendo's. However, when looking at the Top 10, it's very different - eight to two in Sony's favour. It's almost as if the Nintendo 3DS didn't even happen. Usually when a console releases, there's a mad rush to buy all of the games, and there are a couple of titles which just sell like hot cakes.

For the DS, which launched in 2004, it was Super Mario 64 DS, Pokémon Dash, WarioWare Touched. They all sold well over 100k in their first few weeks on sale. With the Nintendo 3DS, we have Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask... and that's about it. Samurai Warriors Chronicle is doing ok, but all of the other launch games are performing much worse than expected, for a console which had so much hype, and enjoyed such bumper sales.

When you actually look at the numbers, (shown in the graph), Sony's titles account for over 75 percent of overall software sales. This is partially because of a successful launch for Dynasty Warriors 7, which in one week outsold every Nintendo 3DS title, but even without that Sony titles still account for over 60 percent of software sales.

It certainly can't be what Nintendo were hoping for. In fact, their share price dropped from 38.34 down to as low as 34.16 between February the 25th (day before launch) and March the 10th. Every console maker wants a good attach rate when they launch a new product, but Nintendo just aren't really getting that right now. Even Nintendogs + Cats, isn't doing all that well, and that was one of their biggest titles on the Nintendo DS.

Surely, when bigger franchises like Mario and Zelda start getting released, things will pick up. But this was one of the most heavily supported releases in console history, with Nintendo showing off all the big name publishers who were backing them with solid, household names. It's not all doom and gloom yet, but it looks like Sony has, in the short-term at least, managed to regain a bit of a stranglehold on Japan.

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