Summer Vacation Keeps Japan’s Popular Games Going, Amidst Lack Of New Releases


As reported this past Wednesday, software sales in Japan were on the soft side last week. Since no new release sold more than 10,000 copies during the week, sales of new software fell from 112,000 copies 30,000 copies, according to Japanese sales tracker Media Create.


On the bright side, due to increasing demand during the Summer vacation, popular titles continued to sell, and only dropped 96.23% over the week prior. For example, Yoshi’s New Island only dropped from 58,000 copies at launch to 33,000 copies in week 2.


Meanwhile, Mario Kart 8 maintained sales of 18,000 copies for two consecutive weeks; and of course, both of Level 5’s Yo-kai Watch games continue to sell very well, with Yo-kai Watch 2 nearly crossing 2 million copies sold.


Interestingly, Media Create say that Yo-kai Watch-related accessories such as cover cases and styluses demonstrated strong sales alongside the games themselves.


On the hardware front, Media Create note that hardware sales amounted to 80,000 units—maintaining 94.26% of the week prior. This was in large part due to the Nintendo 3DS, which actually saw sales increase ever so slightly over the previous week, due to it being the week after payday. 3DS sales were at 38,759 units.


Meanwhile, sales of the PS Vita are beginning to return to their usual level, following the end of the limited edition “Super Value Pack” bundles Sony released. Vita sales for the week fell to 18,685 units.


Finally, while next week is going to be a fairly normal week in Japan for the most part, August 15th (Friday) will mark the start of the Obon festival, which will result in Japan getting a long weekend. It should be interesting if that affects software and hardware sales.

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.