Final Fantasy III PSP Saw A Low Sell-Through In Japan

By Ishaan . September 28, 2012 . 9:50am

Square Enix released Final Fantasy III on the PSP in Japan last week. The game, which is a port of the Nintendo DS (and later iOS) remake, sold 44,872 copies in its first week, which is a pretty low number.


Media Create report that this was 56.39% of Final Fantasy III’s shipment to retail stores. For comparison, last year’s Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection sold 104,173 copies in its first week, with a sell-through of 82.05%.

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  • Well, when the FF fanbase is as divisive as it is(due to recent releases), and a majority bought FF3DS(which this game is a port of), and the more popular handheld in Japan is wouldn’t you know the DS and 3DS, this is only to be expected.

    I’m just saying it how it is.

    But again, this is a way to have FF’s 1-9 on one PSP through PSN and stuff digitally.

    • I don’t think the DS is the more popular handheld in Japan anymore. It was at one point, but the PSP and 3DS are both very much kicking its butt at this point — and the PSP had been kicking its butt for a little while before the 3DS came out, too. Ever since the PSP became Monster Hunter’s portable home, sales charts started shifting in its favor pretty drastically.

      I think the fact that so many people already own the game in one form or another, though, is indeed a big part of why this port sold as it did.

      •  Pretty much.  It’s amazing how well the PSP is doing in Japan.

        • Tiael

          It’s too bad it’s not doing that well in NA.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        “I don’t think the DS is the more popular handheld in Japan anymore.”

        Em….even WITH the PSP’s resurgance in later years, the DS still remains about 13 million units ahead of it. I’d say it’s preety clear which of the two previous generation handhelds was more popular.

  • I think this article needs more context Ishaan. First of all, FF III will never be as popular as any of the later entries. If they hopefully release the DS remake of FFIV I believe we will see far better numbers. 

    Also, those 44k+ units sold made the game the best selling videogame for the week, even surpassing NSMB2.

    The sell-through might have been low, but FFIII was the best performing game in the week since its launch. That says a lot.

    • malek86

      Absolute sales usually mean little. Surpassing NSMB2 is not that much of a feat – the game is stable on the 33-35k units per week, so pretty much any decent new release will manage to do that, as long as it’s not absolutely niche.

      For a FF game this is pretty low overall, especially when you compare it to FF4 Complete. But I guess some sales must have been digital, since I guess some people who were going to buy a PSV might have chosen so in order to get backward compatibility with their purchase. Also, the availability of the game on iOS/Android too must have hurt it a bit.

      As for FF4, would people really wanna buy it after the PSP has recently seen the Complete Collection (which has a lot of extra content too)? I dunno, really. For comaprison, this was the first and only available version of FF3 on the console, which I thought would help sales.

      Anyway, at this point, we are probably not gonna see FF4DS on PSP. The console is getting too old. Unless they get the game to iOS/Android first, they won’t do it. And even if they port it to smartphones, by that point the PSP will probably be forgotten.

      • Honestly, I don’t see a real reason WHY we’d need FF4DS on the PSP.  FF4CC pretty much obsoletes it regardless of the voicing/3D models in terms of the overall content you’re given.  It’s considered the definitive version by many, actually.

    • Agreed.  I figured the borderline harsh nature of the title in the last article highlighting its sell-through would be enough.  Now we’ve got a second one telling us again how bad the game is doing.

      I’m not entirely certain why we need to be constantly made aware of this, honestly.  Yes, it’s another port of a game in an FF series to any given console but like this title is any different than any other console port they’ve done several times in succession.

    • As @malek86:disqus pointed out, achieving the #1 position on the chart means very little if your sales are that low. I mean, next best-selling game on the chart is NSMB2 as you pointed out, but that’s been out for weeks now, so it doesn’t say much that Final Fantasy III was able to beat it.

      @Hiryuu:disqus We do the sales columns precisely so that people have more insight into the business side of the industry, which is what drives all decisions in the end. The more information and understanding people have on this front, the better. If you don’t like what you see, you’re welcome to stop reading.

      Something else that neither of you is taking into account is that Square Enix likely didn’t expect much from this game at all. The only reason it’s being released is so that they have all of their mainline Final Fantasy games on a PlayStation platform, in preparation for the 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box, which will contain all of them.

      The article isn’t meant to be “harsh”. It’s simply meant to state the facts. We’ve even mentioned that the game was originally released on the DS, sold very well on that platform, and that is likely the reason that no one cares about the PSP version so many years after the fact.

      • That’s not the point I’m making Ishaan, and watch the mentions of telling your fellow readers to stop it and or reading or whatever.  That’s not smart business.  You’ve been getting a little haughty with those condescending or borderline as such as of late and I don’t appreciate it.  I understand your expertise in the field and what you do as a senior editor but I don’t appreciate you slagging on people for making valid points either or just making mentions in general.

        My point is you’ve made is ABUNDANTLY clear that this is flailing in your opinion.  I think we get it.  You don’t have to drive it in as much when there are plenty of people that enjoy the game regardless of sales figures which hardly any of us care about.

        • “You don’t have to drive it in as much when there are plenty of people that enjoy the game regardless of sales figures which hardly any of us care about.”

          Precisely why I said that you are welcome to stop reading the sales columns if you don’t care to. We don’t report sales data to make you happy. We do it to provide information. If it isn’t your cup of tea, or you don’t like what you see, please feel free to ignore it. 

          (Unless, of course, you feel that you have something meaningful to contribute to the discussion, or feel we missed something, in which case you’re obviously more than welcome to pitch in, just like everyone else does every week.)

          This is how all games are treated, and if you read the sales columns regularly, you are likely well aware of this. The regular sales column with the top-20 goes up on Wednesdays. Then, later in the week, we follow up with Media Create’s supplementary report that contains sell-through numbers. 

          Sales by themselves are only part of the picture. Sell-through numbers are equally important in order to give people an idea of how a particular piece of software is doing. 

          • I’ll agree on your mentions of sales being a strong point in most games but I take issue with the way it’s presented.  Going back to your appended point of your initial comment assuming SE doesn’t expect a high sell rate, that’s an easy thing to infer.  But mentioning ‘That’s enough FF3, thanks’ on top of this article kinda rubs that in the wrong way.

            You can go through and mention the sales all you want just fine otherwise.  The tone is my concern.  Perhaps there were those expecting a definitive version out of the PSP much like many think the version of FF4 was.  Just because a game’s been ported several times doesn’t necessarily mean we need to hear ‘that’s enough of this’ either.

            Unless it’s FF7.

            But if I said that then I lose all credibility for what I just…

            Well, you know what, I think you get my point.  Tone.  That’s all I’m saying.  The comment’s thrown out there out of concern for your streak in that sense as of late.  Nothing more than that.

          • Ah, I see what you mean about the headline to the previous FFIII post. I can see how someone would interpret that I was slamming the game, but I assure you that wasn’t the case. Back in the day, I bought my DS specifically to play FFIII and Metroid Prime: Hunters. :)

            The headline was meant more to reflect the fact that the market in general didn’t seem to care for the PSP version, and not my own personal opinion. As a general rule, we don’t enforce our own opinions very much on Siliconera, unless it’s strictly in a hands-on piece or a playtest (or in the comments, occasionally).

            In the sales columns, obviously we do try to provide some sort of perspective, but even there, it usually isn’t in the headline. If you felt I was coming down on the game itself, that wasn’t the case, but again, I can see why it would be easy to get that impression.

  • Everyone is complaining about long loading times in the PSP version, which is not present in the DS or iOS version.

    •  The load times are typically at the game load itself and some story loads/town loads.  They’re not the worst I’ve ever seen in a game but a typical game load will take around 20-30 seconds with some towns taking roughly 10-15.  The DS version is roughly half this or better on all account in my experience with both of those versions.

      Battles aren’t a problem, though.  They load as fast as the DS version that I have.  Overall, it’s not really that much of a dealbreaker but it is something to be aware of.

  • Anime10121

    Makes sense, considering its one of the worst games in the series (along with 2’s gameplay), and also considering the DS game came out not to long ago, and most people have already experienced how crappy it really was.  When 3 was released on DS and I finally played it, I was actually glad that they initially skipped 2 and 3 when they were bringing the games to the west.  Had I finished those two after playing the first game, I’d have likely thought that how good the first game was, was a fluke, and that those two were representations of the future of Final Fantasy and likely would have quit playing then and there.  Lukily, we got IV and VI as the next entries which were both completely awesome, some of the best in the series!

    • ‘…considering its one of the worst games in the series…’

      How to lose credibility in the first sentence of a paragraph.  This right here.

      • Saraneth

        Well, you’re comparing it to a pretty good series and FFIII didn’t have much of a story like the later games did.

        • That’s a debatable point and I’d rather not.  Seriously.  Regardless, story wasn’t mentioned – game was.  Overall.  No.

          The idea of mentioning what is better than what in a series as expansive of FF and the tastes that millions of people have will never yield a conclusive answer of ‘what is better than what’ at all anyways.  It’s a terrible statement, a terrible argument.  Flat out.

          Some people enjoy this game far more than they do others and for far more reasons for the contributions they made to later games (such as the job system later used in games as 5, X-2 and later brought to their online variations on the theme).  You can’t take away the contributions this game had on the series even though it didn’t really get much of a shot over on this side of the pond until much later because of the decisions not to bring it over to the states in the early 90s due to the series getting a late start in the States against the incoming SNES.

          Thankfully, I played it much earlier than that.  There’s a reason I don’t call this a bad game in the face of other titles more fitting of that in the very LARGE series.  At the same time, it’s just like any other large series – you just don’t say this unless it’s unbearably so that it is crapware that should have remained unported (which this is far from).  At the same time, I’m not saying that others may have an opinion otherwise which is basically why I don’t want to debate it – there’s no real answer to the question of it.

      • Anime10121

         As Saraneth said, it didnt have much of a story, and the gameplay lacked any of the refinement FFV had (understandable considering V was a newer game).  It just really had nothing special about it at all.  I’m sorry if my opinion offends you in any way (wait, no I’m not, its my opinion, and I’m entitled to it) but III is one of the worst Final Fantasies out there.

    • I’d agree that III doesn’t really hold up today, even with the remake’s enhancements, but implying that it couldn’t hold its own even at the time of its release seems a bit harsh. And if you think FF1 has aged any better… you haven’t played FF1 recently.

      • Anime10121

         I havent played 1 recently, but I did play the GBA Dawn of Souls game right before I played the FF III DS game, and I still find that FF I holds up far better than 3 does (and that’s kinda sad because the only version of III ive played is the “definitive DS remake”). FF III was just plain boring to me. Now I’m not saying FF I is some top tier FF game either, but it at least, was a good game, far more than I can say for FF II or FF III, which I find to be the worst entries in the series.

        • I don’t really get how even FF3’s rudimentary attempts at narrative and strategic variation wouldn’t be preferable to I’s 20-hour A-mashing grindfest, but I guess there’s no accounting for taste. I mean, I guess you could commend I for its simplicity?

    • Paradox me

      I doubt you would have held the same opinion in 1988 and 1990. The original Final Fantasy was by no means the polished classic that we’ve seen since the Origins release and games like Final Fantasy II and III were actually quite interesting for their time. 

      Despite its innovative but broken leveling system, Final Fantasy II also featured a cast of defined characters, main and supporting, and a more in-depth story (which was a huge improvement over the original, and III couldn’t match). The ability to learn keywords and use them to uncover information about your quest was particularly interesting as well.

      (The Dawn of Souls/20th Anniversary versions also happen to be not only playable, but enjoyable)

      Frankly, criticizing Final Fantasy III and not the original game doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Neither had much in the way of story, featuring four generic heroes, and both had very similar core mechanics. Final Fantasy III, however, had a host of great additions like the job system, job-specific commands, summons, multiple world maps, etc. The DS remake went a step further and created actual characters with distinct personalities.

      It was far from perfect, but Final Fantasy III DS is as good as, and in many ways significantly better, than Final Fantasy.

      • Agreed.  Much of the reason why I mentioned that many don’t understand how it really was back on the Famicom when it released that it was actually one of the best games in the series for that console based on everything you’ve mentioned here.

        But many over on this side of the sea didn’t get to see FF3 until it was re-ported over a decade later.  I’d venture to bet a great DEAL of people haven’t even played the original (or at least the translated version that was made public a long time ago).  That will influence the opinion and that I understand when making mentions like that.

        Doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right, but I can understand where they are coming from by asserting themselves in their statements.

      • Anime10121

        Here we go, a well thought out argument that doesnt just say “you’re wrong” or “you lost all credibility with this statement” (which I find crazy anyway, as I’m not trying to attain “credibility” with anyone anyways, I’m simply stating my opinion on the game), I like those :)

        Now, I have played the original on NES, psOne, and GBA, and I like it quite a bit better than 2 (PS one and Dawn of Souls version) and 3 (DS version).  Now you may be right, and my opinion of the two may have been better had I played them in their original forms, but I couldn’t, because they werent localized at the time.

        But here’s the thing, I never played IV, V, and VI until their PsOne release and loved every second of em, and this was after having played VII-IX.  After that, I went and found the original versions on SNES and played those and loved them all the same.  Now FF I, I had played on a friends old NES right after beating FFVII in 2001 and loved it (IX is the game that introduced me to the series).  But I felt no attachment to FF 2 when I played it, nor did I to FF 3 when it came out on DS a few years later.

        2 with its “innovative yet broken” level up system, is exactly why I couldnt stand that game.  The story may have been pretty good, but if the gameplay isn’t enticing in the slightest (at least to me it wasnt), it failed as a game to me.  That is the only Final Fantasy where I’ve ever had to literally “grind” and play the game in a way other than my own way.

        Now III, I admit, does have plenty of innovative features like the ones you mentioned, but that means squat to me if the game never really grabbed me like any of the others did.  Music (I find FF I’s OST MUCH more appealing to the ears), gameplay, and even the newfound DS exclusive characterization, it was all just sub par to me.  It may have been a good game in the time of its original release, but the series has done SO much better than III, and I am glad that it has.

  • This game has a lot of charm. Glad it got a psp release.

    • Yeah well at least PSP (and Vita) owners in US will get it.  Anyway kinda sad that the PSP version didn’t sold out.

  • neo_firenze

    Media Create’s numbers don’t include PSN sales though, so that’s a fairly important chunk of missing information.  Particularly important for PSP titles these days, since the PSN version is the only one playable on Vita and a decent number of people have picked up a Vita (or might go with PSN releases if they think they may buy a Vita in the future).  

    Besides, I doubt S-E expected this would sell gangbusters on PSP seeing as how it’s the third release of the same port, of one of the less popular games in the series to begin with.  Honestly, #1 for the week is not bad for the minimal effort put into the release – whether it’s low for a game with “Final Fantasy” in the title or not.

  • anyone surprised?
    there is a limit to how many times a game should be remade/ported.

  • Areuto

    A game loses it’s charm after there being like 4 remakes….. so I’m gonna play new super Mario bros 2.

  • Well, what do you expect from a ported remake?

  • Hmmm, I guess SE kinda overestimated things here and relied a little too much on brand recognition. I’m guessing this means this game will see it’s price slashed soon across many retailers in Japan, kinda like what happened with the Zelda Spirit Tracks.

  • LegendaryLos

    This game has re-released so many times man. Well at least I think so.

  • akiko_sakuraba


    • Lester Paredes

      No, really, why don’t you explain instead of using sarcasm.

  • Dylan Anantha

    FF III is great the first time you play, but its not something you can play again and again like II and IV onwards. I and III are important to the franchise like all the others, but the lack of story and dialogue can really affect the appeal to those who never played them before. 

  • Lester Paredes

    That is probably because the game has been re-released a lot. Maybe if they made new games half as good as they used to, this would cease to be a problem.

  • hehHxC

    hey this game is on the top chart .. 

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