This Week In Sales: Ni no Kuni Reaches Our World, Nintendo Games See Holiday Bump

By Ishaan . December 15, 2010 . 4:29pm


You’ll find several points of interest on the sales chart for the week of December 6th – 12th. Since there’s so much to talk about, let’s do this bullet point-style, so it’s easier to read:


  • Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, still at the #1 spot at around 2.6 million, is about 1 million units away from Capcom’s 3.6 million expectations.

  • Monster Hunter Freedom Unite shipped 2.5 milliion copies in half a year. Portable 3rd has sold over that number in just two weeks.
  • Combined with sales of its “PSP the Best” budget re-release, Freedom Unite shipped 3 million units. Portable 3rd’s lifetime sales alone are expected to outdo that figure.


  • Ni no Kuni released during the week. Level 5 shipped 600,000 copies of the game. So far, it’s only sold through 170,548 of those. Given the game’s potentially mainstream appeal on account of Studio Ghibli’s involvement, we’ll have to see if word-of-mouth sustains the game’s sales in the coming weeks.

  • Gran Turismo 5 dropped precipitously from #5 to #18 on the charts, and currently sits at 510,319 units.

  • A number of Nintendo games actually saw a significant increase in sales over last week, owing to the effect the holidays traditionally have on Nintendo products. You can compare with last week’s chart if you like.

  • Likewise, seeing games like Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-land Mayhem, Super Fossil Fighters, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Mario Sports Mix breeze into the hundred thousands is rather impressive.

  • Konami’s Magician’s Quest: The Merchant’s Store of Sorcery, which is still hanging onto the charts, sold another 27,443 units during the week.

  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood also released during the week, and debuted at 36,098 units, while Shiren 5 debuted at 25,192 units.


The top-20 chart for the week of December 6th – 12th was as follows:


Lw Tw Title Weekly Sales Total Sales Sys. Publisher
01. 01. Monster Hunter Portable  3rd 629,541 2,580,258 PSP Capcom
New 02. Ni no Kuni: The Jet-Black Sorcerer 170,548 New DS Level 5
New 03. Donkey Kong Country Returns 163,310 New Wii Nintendo
06. 04. Pokémon Black/White 79,819 4,628,773 DS Nintendo
03. 05. Mario Sports Mix 68,430 212,420 Wii Nintendo
05. 06. Wii Party 55,412 1,318,875 DS Nintendo
07. 07. Super Mario All-Stars Collector’s Edition 53,670 712,989 Wii Nintendo
04. 08. Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-land Mayhem 51,828 109,302 DS Nintendo
02. 09. Tales of Graces: F 39,640 254,828 PS3 Namco Bandai
New 10. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood 36,098 New PS3 Ubisoft
13. 11. Super Fossil Fighters 29,110 120,644 DS Nintendo
14. 12. Magician’s Quest: The Merchant’s Store of Sorcery 27,443 137,055 DS Konami
16. 13. Kirby’s Epic Yarn 26,435 258,208 Wii Nintendo
New 14. Mystery Dungeon Shiren the Wanderer 5: Fortune Tower and the Dice of Fate 25,192 New DS Chunsoft
17. 15. Wii Sports Resort (w/ MotionPlus) 24,454 86,109 Wii Nintendo
05. 16. Gran Turismo 5 23,929 510,319 PS3 Sony
21. 17. New Super Mario Bros. Wii 21,366 4,078,476 Wii Nintendo
12. 18. Taiko no Tatsujin Wii Everyone’s Party Sandaime 21,211 50,539 Wii Namco Bandai
19. 19. Mario Kart Wii 20,520 3,021,846 Wii Nintendo
08. 20. Momotarou Dentetsu World 20,487 65,613 DS Hudson


Sales data sourced from 4Gamer and Media-Create.

  • malek86

    I thought Shiren 5 would do a little bit more than that. It opened quite lower than S4. Is the series falling in popularity? So far, all chapters have sold less than the previous (except S4, it slightly outsold S3, but the difference in platforms should be taken into account).

    Too bad, the game is pretty good, although it seems to be straying a bit from the core roguelike concept, what with all the different dungeons you can’t enter anymore, leveling companions, and weird techniques. It’s good so far, but I still prefer Shiren 1 for its far simpler approach to the genre.

    Also, too bad for Ni no Kuni (didn’t the same happen for IE3?). I guess it will have legs, but if we start seeing slashed prices across the country, it won’t be good.

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      I hope this doesn’t affect the PS3 Ni no Kuni.

      • I hope this doesnt affects anything at all…

      • I really hope the PS3 one sells better. I want to see that one localized.

  • I think, in ni no kuni, the system that you NEED the book to be able to beat the game, is interesting, but pretty much of a fail to me (i seriously cant get another book with me when i go to the university). I still want to get it though.

    Oh and saw some videos, the voice acting is pretty weird xD.

    Monster hunter is just a monster O_O

    • Aoshi00

      Of course the voice acting is weird, it’s Ghibli *.*… they’ve been using amateurs (actors but amateurs in voice acting) for over 10 yrs, other than their earlier films.. I don’t see people’s fascination w/ the movies, especially when it comes to the Jpn dub, the subpar Jpn voice work pretty much ruined the music, story, and animation..

      I hope Ni no Kuni turns out to be good and is worth the ~$80, YesAsia has yet to have my copy in stock… I just took a glance at Amazon Jpn (haven’t read the details, I don’t want to be swayed by others’ opinions before I try it on my own), the reviews seem a bit mixed..

      • Haha, with what ive seen, the game looks pretty good :D, the only minus for me is the book thing. Of course it must still be pretty cool when im in my house and checking out the book to find a clue or something :)

        But so far, ive liken what i seen, also the soundtrack seems to be a good piece of work, and the graphics, perfect!

        • Aoshi00

          yea, definitely suitable to played on the huge DSi XL w/ the book at home :) I’m not going to read/hear any reviews until I try it myself. I just know Oliver sounds strange, you could tell it was “fake crying” from miles away *.*… oh well, it’s just something we need to live w/, because Ghibli insists on using bad voice actors (I guess it’s a decision agreed by both Level 5 and Ghibli, they think the big names would draw attention, but instead we get subpar voice work)

      • RupanIII

        I’ve heard tons of complaints about the U.S. dub being weird but never the Japanese. I’m gonna respectfully disagree here. I’ve never found it strange myself, and I think a more naturalistic approach is more fitting for Ghibli worlds than a really polished style. As for the appeal, well just personally speaking, there’s the beautiful hand-drawn animation for starters – increasingly rare nowadays. imo there’s a level of personality, candor and exuberance that’s much harder to achieve when you pump out every frame to look 100% identical on a comp ala Dreamworks Pixar etc (not that I dislike cg, just that there are some things that can’t be emulated I mean) Plus Hisaishi’s music has this dreamy relaxing quality, sometimes melancholic, sometimes buoyant. And the worlds, characters, plots etc. are usually very innocent (ironic since Miyazaki seems like a cynic in real life xD), kind of a contemplative quality, lingering on shots instead of lots of rapid cutting and such, again to me kind of a rare approach.

        Have you seen Porco Rosso? It’s prolly my fav Ghibli movie

        I’m tempted to import and make my way through with trusty denshi jisho, has this been announced for a domestic release?

        • Aoshi00

          Oh no, I meant I liked everything else about Ghibli movies except the voice acting. I’ve seen all of them like everyone, huge fan of Joe Hisaishi’s music too, but when they started using actors they took me out of it. My favorite Ghibli flicks were those that used VAs, like Nausicaa, Laputa, KiKi, Totoro, Porco Rosso (voiced by Snake, Otsuka Akio), I Can Hear the Sea, etc. The other films while good, my experience w/ them were just marred by the amateur voice acting, they don’t sound natural they sound like it’s the first time they’re voice acting and reading the script rather unnaturally, like the most recent Ponyo, the acting was just a mess.. Sousuke’s mom Lisa was horrible (I liked Yamaguchi Tomoko as an actress, but voicing anime she’s not good at all..)I do like hand drawn animation, Ghilbli’s is in a league of its own, but I love CG films too from Dreamworks and Pixar and collect almost all of them. I just went to see Disney’s Tangled, it’s absolutely amazing :)!! They say hair is one of the hardest thing to do in CG right, this has lots of it. I’m usually not a big fan of musicals but Mandy Moore’s songs are great. Very beautiful film good for any age. And Disney was brave enough to have blood in it when people are injured, bravo!In general, I’m not too big a fan of Miyazaki, he talks about environment too much and a cynic like your said.. but that has nothing to do w/ his movies, I’m mostly just bugged by the fact they refuse to use seiyuu now.. imagine if all games and anime were to use inexperienced voice actors, performance would definitely suffer a great deal and less enjoyable. Like the Jpn dub of Lost Odyssey (some reading of the lines just make you cringe..), it was pretty bad.. so thank god Sakaguchi made the right decision and use good VAs for Last Story this time. I know using non-voice actors make them sound like everyday people, but sometimes (most of the time) the result is not good, like Vaan in the Jpn FF12, because you could tell they don’t sound comfortable reading the script or they just sound flat and don’t know how to perform w/ just their voices.Kimura Takuya was surprisingly good as Howl, but the old woman who voiced the young and old Sofi in the Jpn ver was bad.. you could hear it was an old woman’s voice trapped in a young girl’s body, it’s just not a good choice, because it’s hard for a 60+ yr old woman to sound convincingly as a girl in her 20’s, so the US ver. had two actresses.. or at the very least, use a young woman to voice both the young and old roles, but Baisho Mitsuko was famous, so it looks good on the credit.. Another example is the actress Suzuki Ann, she was actually decent doing a boy role in Steamboy.Sry if I sound long winded, I’ve been a fan of the voice acting profession for a long time and have quite a good ear for them since I was a kid. I watched a lot of anime in different languages to compare the acting before due to curiosity.P.S. just want to add, like Oliver here in the game, it doesn’t sound like a real kid crying naturally, instead it sounds like a woman who has no voice acting experience, pretending to cry like a boy but doesn’t sound like it, that in turn takes me out of the story because the bad acting is kinda obvious.. but compare to say Pixar’s “Up”, I thought the kid who voiced the main char in the movie was very good.

          • RupanIII

            Oh man, okay you know a lot more about VAs than me lol Sorry I was thinking you didn’t care for any of Ghibli voice work. I’ve mostly seen the older stuff so I can’t really comment on the most recent films voice acting. I did see Spirited Away when it was in theaters but it was the Eng dub. I’m still catching up, trying to get the R2s so it’s been slower going since I don’t order them that much any more. I know Disney actually supposedly did a great job with the R1s, but I don’t like the idea of being forced to watch John Lasseter brag about how great friends he is with Miyazaki every time I wanna watch the movie. From what I understand, it’s not an optional feature/extra, they put it before the movie every time – anyone who owns them can confirm? Nothing against him, but why do they force the intros on you. Same thing with Woopi Goldberg intros on classic Looney Tunes DVDs and such (“YOU CAN WATCH THIS CARTOON BUT FIRST I HAVE TO REMIND YOU FOR SEVERAL MINUTES THAT RACISM IS BAD”)

          • Aoshi00

            nah, listening to and recognizing voice actors is just a hobby of mine, if it could be called that (though I don’t watch new anime anymore and not too familiar w/ the newer generation of seiyuu). Maybe you should collect the US ver if they come out on blu-rays, so far only the latest Ponyo is.. I’ve gotten the new Totoro DVD, Mononoke Hime and Spirited Away I have the old R1 DVDs, Howl’s Moving Castle and I Can Hear the Sea I have on Jpn DVDs (I must’ve watched I Can Hear the Sea at least 10-15 times, using seiyuu was so much better! and that one was not director by Miyazaki). I got the LE Howl R2 and it had mulitple audio tracks but no Eng, so I’m still curious about Christian Bale’s ver of Howl.. I think I might have seen it before, that’s how I knew Sofi was voiced by two actresses in the US ver instead of one old woman.Yea, I love John Lasseter, but it’s funny and repetitive when he does that “me and Miyazaki-san are BFF, he’s my idol and we go way back” lol… it’s the obligatory disclaimer.. well at least you could skip it :) Sometimes there’s even footage of Lasseter giving Miyazaki a bear hug and he’d be like “what the hell, the big guy’s getting way too close and invading my comfort zone” :)

  • Wow US sold more GT5 than Japan? I thought JPN loved the series. .

    Im shocked that AC: Brotherhood sold better than Kirby’s Epic Yarn, though I guess it stands as a testament to just how amazing Assassin’s Creed series is worldwide.

    • malek86

      “Wow US sold more GT5 than Japan? I thought JPN loved the series. .”

      Actually, if you go look at the sales for the previous games, you’ll see that they’ve been getting lower with every chapter. Just like Shiren.

      “Im shocked that AC: Brotherhood sold better than Kirby’s Epic Yarn,”

      While it’s true that AC did pretty well for itself (all things considered), you shouldn’t really compare a first week game to something that’s been around a long time.

      If anything, I’m surprised MHP3 sold that much in second week. I thought it would be a lot more front-loaded. I wonder if next week too can outsell everything.

    • Kirby has been out for a while. Assassin’s Creed is nowhere near it in lifetime sales. And of course the U.S. bought more copies of GT5. The market is bigger and console gaming isn’t where the majority of Japan’s gaming population is anymore. :)

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        “The market is bigger and console gaming isn’t where the majority of Japan’s gaming population is anymore.”

        Daaahhh I refuse to face the facts! Japanese console gaming will one day make its gloronious return! And all the detailed, exploration heavy JRPGs will come flooding back!


        • There’s no reason they can’t make those on portables as the hardware keeps increasing in potential though… Look at stuff like Radiant Historia or Hexyz Force… :(

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            You’re right. I was overreacting a bit. Games on portables are coming closer to console experiences than ever before, and those who prefer them should be glad.

            Personally, I’ve tried going portable, I really have. But after a long day, my eyes are strained and my body aches to lay back on my couch to gaze at my 32″ HDTV, while holding an ergonomic controller. Especially for RPGs, where I tend to go several hours on end, not to mention the sense of immersion on a big screen will always be greater to me.

          • Nah, that’s completely understandable. I have certain games I prefer playing on consoles, too, like Monster Hunter. I can see why some people would prefer playing intensive games like RPGs on their TV. :)

            I guess we’ll have to wait and see just how big an impact stuff like 3DS/PSP2/iPhone have on the Japanese side. Sometimes, I think that while 3DS might have the advantage based on brand, PSP2 — if it can serve as a “portable home console” — will be able to carve out its own significant niche, especially in Japan.

        • That is a beautiful dream, isn’t it? Probably not likely, but beautiful, nonetheless.

      • I always thought, for some reason, and I could be very wrong on this, that Europe was the main market for the Gran Turismo games.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          And you’d be right. It sells the best there, anyway.


  • HarryHodd

    Tales of Graces f should reach 300k. Not bad for a Wii port.

  • vadde939

    O_o Graces F sales dropped pretty fast. I wonder if it will make it to 300k now?
    Ni no Kunis sales are worrying and personally I think the book is part of the problem. Making that bulky book required to play the game is only a convulted and annoying attempt to curb the rampant DS piracy. Some people (myself included) who are on the fence about Ni no Kuni might be put off by needing that bulky book and not buy it.

    • OneOkami

      Just to add to your perspective, I find the book to be a unique and innovative approach to game design. Its one of the most exciting things about the game for me, and thus, one of the biggest reasons I preordered it.

      • malek86

        I can understand that too, because I’m used to play my DS at home.

        But really, a giant book for a portable game might not be the best idea. I hear most japanese people play their DS on the go, like on the train and stuff. That’s not very convenient for them.

        • neocatzon

          well, don’t forget Japanese are weak to limited product

    • I dont think the ds piracy is rampant, just look at the Pokemon sales and how it is still selling this late…

  • I got a question why is Ni no Kuni case so big does it hold 4 NDS carts? Or does it have a cd or what lol

    • Ragnika

      It comes with a book or something.

    • it brings a book, a nice high quality book, where you will find the spells you need to draw in the game to advance, also, some monster information, and some puzzles you have to solve in the book to be able to advance in the game

  • PrinceHeir

    Ni no Kuniiii :D

    i love the animation in that game ^^

    good to see it’s doing well :)

  • I think people are waiting for the PS3 version. At least…..I would.

  • Well against the (Christmas #1…oh you know it’s true) Monster Hunter Portable 3, Ni no Kuni: The Jet-Black Sorcerer wasn’t going to sell anyway near 600,000. In fact, it’s done well to get six, figures so I’d say Level-5 should be somewhat happy. If sales start to struggle, I could see it being bundled with something done by Studio Ghibli’s to help shift copies.

    Pokémon Black/White will reach 5 mill eventually.

    Glad to see Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood reach the top 10. Yes it sales were week but it is a western game ^_^

    Gran Turismo 5’s drop is quite surprising. Looks like Japan have lost their love for the GT series.

    • Is that selling out of their initial shipment of the game, I think somewhere mentioned it was 550K shipped their of GT5.

      Anyway it will probably definitely keep selling well as there arent anymore racing games coming out until Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed comes in the Spring (so excite!)

      • Perhaps, although it would be nearer the 40k mark then the 20k mark if that was the case in my opinion. Well we shall see in next’s weeks final chart before christmas.

        I dunno why but I do get a buzz out of seeing who does well in the Japanese charts.

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