Two weeks ago (April 14th – 20th), weekly hardware sales in Japan hit a five-year low, Japanese sales tracker Media Create reported on Friday. This, Media Create said, was due to stagnant sales of both PlayStation and Nintendo consoles.
In the case of the Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL platform, sales dropped to 19,943 for the week. Media Create explained that these low sales could be attributed to the “monthly recommended software campaign,” which is a major new promotional campaign Nintendo announced would begin on April 26th.
During the “monthly recommended software campaign,” buyers of new Nintendo 3DS XL systems will get a voucher for a single free game alongside their purchase. Buyers will get to choose between two games every month, with the first two titles being Yo-kai Watch and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Since the selection of free games will change on a monthly basis, users will be able to hold on to their voucher until they expire on September 30th.
The announcement of the campaign, Media Create said, led to restrained buying on the part of consumers, since anyone that had heard about the campaign was likely going to wait until after April 26th to make their purchase. The campaign, which is in effect now, was introduced just in time for Japan’s Golden Week holiday, which begins on April 29th.
Aside from the “monthly recommended software campaign,” however, sales of other platforms in Japan were low as well. Media Create say that this can be chalked up to new releases failing to sell more than a combined total of 50,000 copies during the week.