Japan Likes Pokémon Black More Than White

By Ishaan . April 18, 2011 . 2:02pm

Pokémon games always come in two colours, and sometimes, it can be hard to decide which colour you like better. Choices between two versions of the same game usually come down to which exclusive Pokémon are present in both.


Pokémon Black/White take this concept further than version-exclusive monsters. The Black version has an exclusive area called Black City, while White contains White Forest. The cover art for both games, however, focuses on the two version-exclusive legendary Pokémon, Reshiram (in Black) and Zekrom (in White).


Nintendo recently reported sales figures for both games, indicating that Americans prefer the White version of the game. In March, Pokémon White sold 1.3 million units, while Black sold 1.1 million.


The situation in Japan is quite different, however. According to Japanese sales tracker Media-Create’s figures, by the end of 2010, Pokémon White had sold 2.3 million units, while Black sold 2.6 million.


Do the Japanese prefer Reshiram, or was there some other reason for the difference?


Food for thought:


In case you’re curious, the Japanese prefer Pokémon SoulSilver to HeartGold, just players in the U.S.

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  • *Insert comment about racism here*
    ( *Also note that the white pokemon is in Pokemon Black, while the black one is in Pokemon White* )

    • godmars

      Well, its not like the Japanese have an odd reputation when it comes to that sort of thing.

      An odd reputation period, but that’s besides the point…

    • puchinri

      I actually had a friend who tried to make the joke that I got PKMN Black because I’m black. Of course, I also had to point out that even though I bought Black, I’m still getting the white legendary (which is why I bought it actually).

      • Joanna

        Nice to know I’m not the only one who bought Black because they liked the white legendary more. Everyone I have talked to so far got White because they preferred Zekrom. Both legendaries are pretty cool…I’m going to have to pester my brother to trade me his Zekrom when he feels like restarting. >:)

        • puchinri

          Haha, exactly. Hehe, good luck on getting it from him. I’m still trying to convince my sister to get it so I can take pokemon from her, even though she doesn’t even play Pokemon. x’D

          • Joanna

            He’s a good kid, he gave me his Groudon when he restarted Ruby (and he always gets the other version and let’s me have first choice), but he’s taking really long with White. He mildly enjoys Pokemon but doesn’t really like RPGs all that much in general, which is probably why he’s taking so long to finish White. I wish we had more gaming in common.

          • puchinri

            Wow, that’s so nice. You’re so lucky~.
            Ahhh. Well it’s good that you have some in common. :’)
            Sadly, my sister doesn’t play RPGs at all. It’s either FPS or party games (or Mario titles) for her. Which isn’t all bad, but I can’t get her to play the stuff I want to enjoy with her (or stuff like MH3, DQIX, etc). ;u;

  • White version has Braviary/Wargle and that is all that matters. Surely they made a mistake in their choice in avoiding this phenomenal Pokemon.

    I was one of the few to get HeartGold. I dont know how people could avoid that Ho-Oh!

    • But you can catch Ho-oh (and at a higher level) in Soul Silver too :/

      • raymk

        But he doesn’t have sacred fire when he’s caught in silver. Just like Lugia doesn’t have aero blast when caught in gold.

        • You could always just move tutor them though.

  • Suicunesol

    It’s worth noting that Black City is a much preferred area over White Forest because Black City has re-battleable trainers for intensive training. White Forest just has items and wild Pokemon.

    Though, I can’t say these figures are because of this…

  • malek86

    Well, white is the new black, according to trends. But then, a few years have passed, maybe today black is the new white. It’s all circling. Until someone prefers orange.

    • Orange….I dunno why…but I just thought of Power Rangers when you said that (although as far as I know, there’s no Power Ranger Orange….yet…)

      Ooooh! Maybe they have Pokemon Ranger Orange!

  • If i was a kid that knows zero about pokemon, i would decide with the color, a white pokemon with a black cover looks cooler than a black monster with a white cover

  • darkfox1


    • Code

      Turbine-Butt monsters, are always better then Bipedal-Fox-Wings monsters!

  • I shall use this as a basis that Japanese women are now more into black men :D Because you find life’s truths in Pokemon games.

  • I don’t blame them.
    Black City>>> White Forest
    Much more useful when training for online.

    • skyblaze

      I bought Black for this reason too… however I inadvertently ruined it. I heard that Black City gets erased when you change your DS clock, which I made sure I didn’t touch, but when I bought my shiny new 3DS and set the time about a minute off from my DSi by accident and popped my game in… yeah *tears*

      • Code

        It gets erased? You mean you lose a whole area if you switch systems?

        • As I understand it, Black City “evolves” over time. I think it depends both on time as well as how many people you connect with online, and as you do that, more and more people enter the city. Resetting the time probably resets its evolution, too.

          • The number of residents depends on how quickly it takes you to reach there… I didn’t know this until I reached White Forest (which is essentially the same in this matter) I only had 2 residents because I was taking my time to get there. And if you don’t continue to talk to the residents, there is a chance they will leave. You can gain residents again via Entralink with other people D; but that’s a bit of a pain…

          • skyblaze

            There was this HUGE building with a bunch of people inside (even a few shops if i remember correctly… but now theres this huge ugly empty space of nothing. I call it ground zero =__=

  • Pokemon White had better exclusives the least, but that’s always an opinion and never a fact, not to mention that Zekrom is super cool. But whatever, as long as Pokemon rocks it’s not about the Edition, but about the sales as a whole!! :D

  • ikiryou

    Always bet on black….

  • Masengan

    Or they can wait for the 3rd version which is usually the better one.

  • I bought White and Soul Silver. ‘Cause they stood out to me more.

  • It’s because Reshiram is the legendary bishonen between the two mascots.

  • I think it’s pretty balanced, both version have awesome pokemon…

    …But on the legendaries alone? White’s superior. Zekrom is awesomesauce and everyone knows it.

  • I bought Pokemon Black~ I really wanted Reshiram.
    But, I did debate about it in store. Everyone asking for it on release date at Gamestop wanted Pokemon White, so I decided to be different. Which worked out well.

  • Christian Wright

    i know quite a few people who choose their game based on their race. not I! Zekrom just looks waaaaaay too cool. i know one thing though….there better NOT be a pokemon gray. i think the 3DS will take pokemon to new levels though. (Ha. levels!) #_# i want my pokemans in 3D, no lazy tackle or quick attack animations. and actual poke noises, none of that EEElbilblilblbiliblibeeeeeeeeee $h!t

  • papuruka

    I prefer White Forest more than Black City. Just sayin’.

  • Maybe the word colour affects it. To me, Black sounds cooler than White. Because black always associated w/ dark and dark kick ass. Then again, the White (supposedly Pure colour) nowadays kick ass too. They act goody-goody then suddenly, they turn their back on us!

    Okay…this is totally out of the subject…But what I wanna say, I think its more to people’s preference on colour and what are popular in the gaming/anime world now…

    I like SoulSilver because of Lugia…

  • SupaPhly

    once you go black…

  • Thgilyad
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