Period: The week of November 21st – November 27th (2011)

Top-seller: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – 194,978

Nintendo 3DS sales: 120,920 | Total sales: 2,678,016

 

The Legend of Zelda series isn’t nearly as popular in Nintendo’s home country of Japan as it is in America. The Zelda games don’t pull in “bad” numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but at the same time, they aren’t hits on the same scale as, say, Mario or Pokémon games. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is no different.

 

Skyward Sword, released last week in Japan, sold close to a 195,000 copies in its first week, topping the software sales chart. Drawing direct first-week comparisons with any other recent Zelda game wouldn’t paint a very informative picture of its performance, since all of these games were released under different circumstances. Still, for the curious, here you are:

 

Twilight Princess (Wii): 2006 – 139,011

Phantom Hourglass (DS): 2007 – 302,887

Spirit Tracks (DS): 2009 – 291,496

Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS): 2011 – 164,110

 

There are a number of reasons one can’t compare Skyward Sword to any of these games. In the case of Twilight Princess (2006), the Wii had only just launched, whereas Nintendo have sold millions of Wii systems by now. That said, the Wii market has been largely stagnant in Japan of late, which creates its own set of hurdles.

 

In the case of the other three games mentioned above, Phantom Hourglass was released on the Nintendo DS at a time when the platform was thriving. The same can be said for Spirit Tracks. It helps that portable systems in general tend to be more popular in Japan than consoles, too. Finally, Ocarina of Time 3D was released on a struggling Nintendo 3DS this past June.

 

And finally, perhaps the greatest reason Skyward Sword simply can’t be compared to any of these titles is that it took more years and more manpower to develop, pulling resources from various Nintendo departments, and even interfering with the development of games such as Mario Kart 7 in the process. It isn’t all bad, though. Skyward Sword is seeing record Zelda sales in America.

 

Moving on, at #2 was 7th Dragon 2020 with 122,498 copies sold.

 

At #5 was Metal Gear Solid HD Edition, with a rather low 61,192 copies sold. HD Edition contains HD versions of Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3, and sold about twice as much as the HD Edition version of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.

 

Finally, at #6 was The Little Battlers Boost, an updated version of Level 5’s The Little Battlers Experience, coming in at just 60,727 copies on the PSP.

 

The top-20 chart for the week is as follows:

 

LwTwTitleWeekly SalesTotal SalesSys.Publisher
New01.The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword194,978NewWiiNintendo
New02.7th Dragon 2020122,498NewPSPSega
New03.Saint Seiya66,557NewPS3Namco Bandai
04.04.Super Mario 3D Land61,710560,9603DSNintendo
New05.Metal Gear Solid HD Edition61,192NewPS3Konami
New06.The Little Battlers Boost60,727NewPSPLevel 5
New07.Weiss Schwarz Portable47,586NewPSPNamco Bandai
New08.Uta no * Prince-Sama: Music38,918NewPSPBroccoli
New09.Taiko no Tatsujin: Definitive Edition
32,098NewWiiNamco Bandai
01.10.Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Subtitled)29,726
210,098
PS3Square Enix
02.11.One Piece: Gigant Battle 2 New World27,379143,441DSNamco Bandai
New12.Pop’n Music Portable 220,965NewPSPKonami
03.13.Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch20,18587,217PS3Level 5
13.14.Kirby’s Return to Dreamland19,527255,566WiiNintendo
06.15.Final Fantasy Type-016,655698,828PSPSquare Enix
08.16.Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Extend16,322231,037PS3Sega
12.17.PokéPark 2: Beyond the World14,71069,740WiiNintendo
1718.Just Dance Wii14,013230,268WiiNintendo
19.19.Wii Party13,7562,036,622WiiNintendo
09.20.Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes Party13,233163,201PS3Capcom

 

Sales data acquired from 4Gamer, Media-Create and Geimin.net.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and a contributing writer at GamesIndustry.biz. 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.

You may also like