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Japan’s Golden Week Sales Dropped 30% Compared To Last Year


The week of April 28th – May 4th included a portion of Japan’s Golden Week holiday. As a result, there was an increase in hardware sales during the week.


Hardware sales for the week were 112.29% of the week prior, owing to stronger sales of the Nintendo 3DS. Unfortunately, both hardware and software sales were down significantly compared to last year’s Golden Week period, according to Japanese sales tracker Media Create.


Total software sales dropped to 68.57% of 2013’s Golden Week period, largely due to the absence of major games like Tomodachi Collection: New Life (or Tomodachi Life, if you prefer its western title). Last year, Tomodachi Life sold nearly 210,000 copies during Golden Week, and was the highest-selling game for that week. This year, there was no such game to take its place.


Meanwhile, total hardware sales dropped to 68.21% of last year’s Golden Week period. While the PlayStation Vita is showing improved sales over last year, and Sony have introduced the PlayStation 4, the Nintendo 3DS line of consoles has seen sales taper off this year. 3DS sales during Golden Week were 51.82% of last year, and it appears that even the combination of the immensely successful Yo-kai Watch and the “monthly recommended software campaign” is only having a limited effect.


Nintendo recently addressed their Nintendo 3DS business in a financial results briefing conducted last week. While sales of the 3DS have slowed this past year, the system has sold over 43 million units worldwide—15.5 million of those having been sold in Japan.


Going forward, the focus will be on releasing a stream of 3DS games to help maintain profits from the 3DS business. Nintendo’s president pointed to games like Yo-kai Watch 2, Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Persona Q as examples of games that would drive software sales in Japan.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.