Last week saw the releases of two tentpole games in Japan: Fire Emblem if for the Nintendo 3DS, and Persona 4: Dancing All Night for PS Vita. Now that Media Create's
hardware and software sales are in for the week ending June 28, we now have a better picture as to how the two launches have affected respective hardware sales for both platforms.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night shifted 94,000 units over the period, falling short of the 137,000 units that Persona 4: Golden pulled in just over three years ago. It’s likely that the sales disparity, despite the PS Vita’s install base growing by over five times in the last three years, is due to the nature of the games themselves. Persona 4: Golden is a remake of one of the most influential RPGs to come out of Japan, whereas Persona 4: Dancing All Night is a spin-off (it’s also a rhythm game, not an RPG) with a lower reach as a result.
Still, PS Vita hardware sales rose by 11,500 units to 25,000 units. That’s a rise of almost double (86%), though such a high percentage change hides the fact that neither Persona 4: Dancing All Night, nor last year’s Persona Q, have been notable system sellers.
For example, 3DS’s Persona Q, another spin-off, debuted last year to 187,000 sales, even more than Persona 4: Golden. But its effect on hardware was similarly weak: An increase of just 12,500 units, and one that was short lived. 3DS hardware fell by 10,000 units the following week – expect similar to happen with the PS Vita this week.
Why has the effect on PS Vita hardware sales been so unpronounced? You could argue that anyone already interested in Persona bought a PS Vita soon after Persona 4: Golden was released three years ago. With last year’s Persona Q on the 3DS, it’s unlikely that Persona fans wouldn’t have already owned the system three years after it launched – 3DS is arguably the only massmarket dedicated video game hardware in Japan right now. Like Persona 4: Dancing All Night, Persona Q was also a spin-off title with mostly superficial similarities to the game it was based from.
Fire Emblem if shifted 306,000 units across all versions, including a special edition that includes both versions of the game. That’s a rise of 40k units over the previous game in the series’ debut sales. 3DS sales were lifted by 8300 units this month, an increase of a third (34%). That’s par for the course these days – while 3DS hardware sales are frequently on top in the region, there’s very little room for tangible growth as the system enters its twilight years and the system reaches market saturation.
Rhythm Tengoku: The Best+
made a similarly small impact on 3DS hardware sales when it lauched in late May. Despite shifting 158,000 copies, 3DS hardware only saw a minor bump of 8,000 units. And this was despite a new hardware model (a pearl white New 3DS XL) launching that week, and the game being part of CEO Satoru Iwata's plans to bring games that appeal to a female audience in order to expand the market.
Meanwhile, both Splatoon and Minecraft: PS Vita Edition continue to have long tails. Both are still in the top 10 and selling steadily, with the former moving 37,500 units and the latter 10,900.
Media Create software sales, week ending June 28 2015
(3DS) Fire Emblem if – 260,675
(PS Vita) Persona 4: Dancing All Night – 94,036
(3DS) Fire Emblem if Special Edition – 42,991
(3DS) Rhythm Tengoku: The Best Plus – 266,726
(PS4) Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensword – 38,758
(Wii U) Splatoon – 37,458
(PS3) Idolm@ster: Cinderella Girls G4U! Vol. 2 – 16,392
(PS Vita) Minecraft: PS Vita Edition – 10,896
(PS Vita) Chaos;Child – 10,325
(3DS) PoPoLoCrois Harvest Moon – 9,284
Media Create hardware sales, week ending June 28 2015
3DS – 32,355
PS Vita – 23,954
PS4 – 14,482
Wii U – 13,166
PS3 – 2,761
Xbox One – 243