Week of 3/31-4/6 in Japan: Questionable Handheld Title Outselling Legendary Franchise

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If you’ve ever needed some perspective on just how much the Japanese gaming community loves its handheld games, look no further than the fact that Mario Party: Island Tour has taken the top spot in sales for Tsutaya, one of the nation’s larger retailers.

Even more notable, both Island Tour and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes have been out for equal amounts of time in Japan. But while MGSV: GZ has been suffering sales drops across all its platforms (which is to be expected), Island Tour has increased sales, behavior generally seen during initial release. Still, the Japanese market seems to be milking Island Tour for all it’s worth. This week, Island Tour is not only beating out Metal Gear Solid, but also such popular series and titles as Samurai Warriors 4 (Sengoku Musou 4), Hatsune Miku-Project Diva, and J-Stars Victory Vs, all of which have been out for roughly the same amount of time as Island Tour (or less).

What is incredible about this is the disparity between Island Tour‘s reception in the United States versus its reception over in Japan. In the U.S., Island Tour has enjoyed maybe a fraction of the success that same title has had in Japan. Lifestyle and culture sure can make a world of difference, huh? It’s worth noting that more than half of the store’s top 20 sales are comprised of handheld titles. While it may not be entirely surprising that a handheld is at the top of the charts due to Japan being so much more invested in the handheld market, it is surprising that a game with mixed reviews in one area can be so loved in another.

Of course, Tsutaya is only a single store, however, it is large enough in that its sales can be a representative sample of the entire nation’s sales.

If you’re curious, here’s the full list of Tsutaya’s top sales for the week:

1. Mario Party: Island Tour (3DS)
2. Yokai Watch (3DS)
3. Samurai Warriors 4 (PS3)
4. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS3)
5. Just Dance (WiiU)
6. Hatsune Miku-Project Diva (PSVita)
7. Pro Baseball Spirits 2014 (PS3)
8. J-Stars Victory Vs (PS3)
9. Dark Souls II (PS3)
10. J-Stars Victory Vs (PSVita)
11. Hatsune Miku-Project Diva (PS3)
12. Samurai Warriors 4 (PSVita)
13. Pro Baseball Spirits 2014 (PSP…who knew it was still alive)
14. Dragon Quest Monsters (3DS)
15. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4)
16. Natural Doctrine (PSVita)
17. Fossil Fighters: Derm Gen Gear (3DS)
18. Harvest Moon: Connect To A New World (3DS)
19. Pazudora Z (3DS)
20. Kirby Triple Deluxe Star (3DS)

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Alex is the name. I'm a 20-something year old student of law at the University of Florida. Some of my favorite games are Pokemon, Mass Effect, Persona, Titanfall, and Final Fantasy. Outside of games, I lose my cool for such things as the Chicago Bears, Florida Gators, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, and Power Rangers. Always happy to have a conversation about literally everything besides Seinfeld. Send me stupidities on Twitter @thecastroregime!

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