Last week, Capcom released Monster Hunter 4 in Japan. The Nintendo 3DS game sold 1,715,060 copies in its first week. Japanese sales tracker Media Create reports that this represents 91.96% of the game’s initial shipment.
However, Media Create also add a few other interesting details in their report—specifically that Monster Hunter 4 enjoyed the best debut of the series to date.
Up until now, 2010’s Monster Hunter Portable 3rd (released on the PSP) had the best debut in the series. Launched in December 2010, Portable 3rd sold 1.951 million copies in its first week. So, how did Monster Hunter 4 end up outselling it at launch?
The answer lies in download sales. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd had no download version available at launch, but Monster Hunter 4 did, which helped offset shortages at retail. Media Create say that retailers sold about 155,000 copies of Monster Hunter 4 in the form of download cards that can be used to avail the game from the Nintendo eShop, following their purchase.
Additionally, they estimate that approximately another 100,000 copies of the game were downloaded directly off the Nintendo eShop. That would bring total first-week sales of Monster Hunter 4 to around 1.97 million copies in its first week.
Even more impressive is the fact that Monster Hunter 4’s first week only includes two days of sales data, whereas Monster Hunter Portable 3rd’s first week was a full five days. Capcom have reason to be happy.