A Popular PSP Game Was Among September’s Best-Selling U.S. Titles

By Ishaan . October 14, 2010 . 4:47pm


The PSP is a system that one doesn’t usually expect to see performing well in terms of software sold outside of Japan. Given the relatively slow hardware sales and ease of piracy on the device — although, Sony have taken countermeasures against this of late — the wide assumption is that PSP market is a hotbed of illegally-obtained software.


Even Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, which released earlier in the year, failed to chart in the NPD top-ten. That’s why seeing Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep at #6 for the month of September is an impressive sight.


The difference, however, is that the NPD Group doesn’t provide data on digitally-downloaded games. While Peace Walker was also made available for download on the PlayStation Network, Birth by Sleep remains a physical retail release only.


In case you’re wondering, the last PSP game before Birth by Sleep to chart in the NPD top-ten was also a Square Enix title. It was Dissidia: Final Fantasy, which charted at #7 with 130,000 units in August 2009.


Other interesting candidates include Capcom’s Dead Rising 2 at #3 and Metroid: Other M at #9. The NPD Group doesn’t provide sales numbers to the public any more, however, so it’s impossible to tell how each of these games sold.


Rank Title System Publisher
01. Halo: Reach 360 Microsoft
02. Madden NFL 11 PS3, 360, Wii, PSP, PS2 Electronic Arts
03. Dead Rising 2 PS3, 360, PC Capcom
04. NHL 11 PS3, 360 Electronic Arts
05. Fifa Soccer 11 PS3, 360, DS, PSP, PS2 Warner Bros.
06. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep PSP Square Enix
07. Mafia II PS3, 360, PC Take Two
08. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions PS3, 360, Wii, DS Activision Blizzard
09. Metroid: Other M Wii Nintendo
10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 PS3, 360, PC Activision Blizzard

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  • BBS did better than Metroid Other M, how shocking!!!!

    -This is a rediculous way to report the numbers, lumping all versions of a title together, lol

    Who in the USA still doesnt have MW2?!!!!!! And buying it brand new for that matter!

    • BBS (week 1) did better than Other M (week 8 or 9). I’m actually surprised that Other M is still in the top 10, but yeah, same with Modern Warfare 2. It’s been a year for that one. I guess with the near releases of Black Ops and Medal of Honor, people want to get back in that shooter mode.

      • Other M released on August 31st actually, so it had a whole month of sales. BbS beat it quite handily.

        • OH! I was thinking this was for one week, not the whole month. Which made me not surprised that BBS beat Other M since Other M had been out for so long already. I suppose I should read carefully so I don’t look like a fool

          • I thought Other M had way more advertisement for it and a huge fan base to appeal for, I guess Metroid series fanbase is just not that big anymore

          • Or all the super-negative reviews had an effect

          • We’ll see in the long run I guess. I’m sure reviews played some part in it, like Aarachnid said below. But it’s also the kind of game Other M is. 3D sidescroller on a retail disc may not sound like enough “value” to the less-informed consumer for example.

    • I don’t have it nor care about it.

    • I don’t have Casual Warfare 2. And I never will. Unless it comes free with a video card like COD4 did.

  • kylehyde

    Congrat to KHBBS.In other topic, this new NPD format is really annoying. Apart of not having the numbers anymore, I don’t know which version of the multi-platform title is listed or if all versions will now be included for the title.

    • malek86

      All versions are lumped together.

  • This just proves that you can’t always blame poor PSP sales on piracy. If you make a good game, people will buy it

    • Ereek

      Oops, didn’t mean to like.This is absolutely untrue in some cases.What about those excellent XSEED games that (at one point) had Metascores over 90? Little King’s Story (Wii) and Half-Minute Hero (PSP)? The latter, according to Marvelous, didn’t break 20,000.Now admittedly, 20,000 is good for a niche title, let alone on the PSP in the west, but the point still stands. If “being good” was the only requirement to selling, then many more games would break 100,000 sold.Brand name and good marketing sells more titles than being “good” does. Even one that has all three of the above (MGS:PW) doesn’t guarantee selling well.

      • two things to note: I said “can’t always blame [it] on piracy” meaning that in some cases you can (although studies have shown that only 1 in 100 people who pirate it would’ve purchased the game if pirated versions weren’t available). Second, all I said was people will buy it. I didn’t say that it would sell extremely well. I also didn’t say the being good is the only factor involved.At this point, Half-Minute Hero has sold over 100,00 units. And it didn’t even need to reach this point to be considered as “selling well” since the sequel is being released in a few months (if memory serves correctly) meaning they started development pretty soon after the first one’s release. Little King’s Story has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide, and is still selling well according to the Product Manager, and is also getting a sequel, so not great examples. It’s true. Marketing and Brand Name do help, but if you make a good game, news travels and sales occur. Also, three weeks in, this point in time for BBS, Peace Walker had only sold 100,000 fewer units than BBS, so both games did/are sell(ing) well.

    • kupomogli

      Except that Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep is “technically” a Final Fantasy spin off title. Most people will buy a game in their favorite series.
      Siliconera did a post based on Wii, DS, and PSP piracy numbers. While Dissidia made over a million sales, it was also pirated over five million times. That’s an example on how bad the piracy is.
      But what if it’s a game that isn’t as widely known as Final Fantasy and is a game someone would play but don’t want to have it in their collection. As we know, there aren’t as many collectors as people who just play games and then sell or trade them for new games(Gamefly, etc.) Great games like Ys7, Half Minute Hero, Brave Story, Wild ARMs XF, Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles, etc.


      Also. Supposedly Birth By Sleep has certain protective files on it that won’t allow it to be played with CFW. Maybe that also caused a spike in sales. Maybe playing it at a cost was worth it over not playing it at all?

      • Patrick de Kruijf

        I bought dissidia once and downloaded it twice, since it worked a bit better.
        same reason I bought khbbs and downloaded it right after it simply cause the loading times are much better.

    • Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Kingdom Hearts. “Good.” Bahahahahahahahahahaha.

      • Have you played it? It’s a very good game. But if you’re not into the already established mythos, you’re probably not going to like it

        • I played the first game. 11 hours of it. Know what kept me from playing?

          Lack of plot.

  • holyPaladin

    Grats to KH BBS

    PSP sure hard to sell outside Japan..


  • leeorv

    I think that the fact sales data doesn’t include digital downloads is the key as to why we aren’t seeing more PSP games on these charts.

    Sony’s efforts to keep the PSP and PSPGo appealing made it so that many PSP titles are on the PSN stores, and at ridiculous prices.

    MGS: Portable ops costs 5.2 Euros this week for crying out loud!

    and I’m not even mentioning the fact that you can activate one account on several PSPs, effectively sharing your purchase with a friend and playing against him online. why would you both buy the same 40$ UMD, when on of you could buy the 40$ digital copy and have both of you play it?

  • Pichi

    Really disappointed that NPD won’t release numbers anymore. Happy that KH managed to get on the list. I hope it sells well to expectations.

    • vgchartz.com
      They have sales numbers by week and by region. If you’re into that sort of thing, it’s great

      • Hraesvelgr

        No one really takes VGChartz seriously, though.

        • Ereek

          This. So much this. They’ve been wrong on pretty much every (lesser known) title that I’ve looked up when compared with official numbers.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    What was the reason the NPD doesn’t provide numbers anymore…?

    • Likely because that’s how they earn their income — by selling the numbers to their publisher clients. Less public numbers means that their data is now more valuable than ever.

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        Hmm, makes sense. I guess it doesn’t really impact gamers anyway. Unless you somehow base your game purchases on NPD sales. O_o

  • YoFace

    It pains me to see that people are still buying Modern Skillfare 2. Deeply.

    • Agreed.

    • even after the fact that a new CoD is coming -.- in like 2 weeks

    • You mean Casual Warfare 2? ‘Cause only casuals play that crap.

  • So.. Nomura beat Kojima then?

  • keriaku

    That’s awesome. Kingdom Hearts deserves it.
    Sounds like it’s going in a better organized direction than Final Fantasy 13 unfortunately couldn’t get.

    • Excuse me? FF13 was an excellent game and not as difficult as BBS

  • KHSoraKeyBlade

    Happy to see that BbS made the top-ten and to see it fall behind Halo, DR2 and 3 ea sports titles is impressive.
    Also I feel happy to know that I have none of them games on the list except BbS. :P

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