This Week In Sales: Puzzle & Dragons Z Gets Off To A Rocket Start


Period: The week of December 9th – December 15th (2013)

Top-seller: Puzzle & Dragons Z – 543,630

Nintendo 3DS sales: 50,846 | Total sales: 9,105,676

Nintendo 3DS XL sales: 130,710 | Total sales: 5,121,941

PlayStation Vita sales: 30,440 | Total sales: 2,147,915

Vita TV sales: 5,506 | 64,709

Wii U sales: 74,903 | Total sales: 1,343,139

<< Last week’s software sales chart


Last week, the Nintendo 3DS received another high-profile game to adds to its repertoire, courtesy of Gung Ho Online Entertainment. Gung Ho released Puzzle & Dragons Z, an RPG version of their incredibly popular Puzzle & Dragons game, for the 3DS, and it got off to a booming start, with over 540,000 copies sold at launch.


Meanwhile, a number of other popular games saw a boost in sales, thanks to the approaching holidays. Pokémon X and Y, Super Mario 3D World, Monster Hunter 4 and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon were all among the titles that saw increased sales, while Attack on Titan—released two weeks ago—has held up rather well.


It’s also worth noting that Luigi’s Mansion is now nearly at 1 million sales at retail, which is a very impressive number for a brand being revived after so many years. Aside from Donkey Kong Country Returns, this is the second western-developed Nintendo game to have done so well in Japan in the past five years.



What is concerning, however, are hardware sales of the Nintendo 3DS itself. While total 3DS sales in Japan are at over 14 million thus far, this year the 3DS has only sold around 4.5 million units in the region, whereas in 2012, it had sold well over 5 million by the end of the year. It’s especially concerning considering that two of the biggest games 3DS will ever see—Pokémon X/Y and Monster Hunter 4—were released this year.


3DS’ performance calls into question just what Nintendo can do to maintain a healthy 3DS market and a healthy profit margin on the portable games front. When hardware sales are low, one normally turns to software sales to make up for the deficit. However, 3DS is already home to some of the biggest brands in Japanese gaming, and it’s going to be tough to consistently one-up these games in the future.


Additionally, publishers are continually being pulled away from traditional portables by smartphones, and Nintendo will need to combat this trend and incentivize their publishing partners to keep making Nintendo 3DS games. It’s going to take effort, and it should be interesting to see how the 3DS looks in a year from now.


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


Lw Tw Title Weekly Sales Total Sales Sys. Publisher
New 01. Puzzle & Dragons Z 543,630 New 3DS Gung Ho
03. 02. Pokémon X and Y 159,244 3,360,163 3DS Pokémon Co.
07. 03. Super Mario 3D World 57,862 241,107 WiiU Nintendo
New 04. Nobunaga’s Ambition: Creation 54,590 New PS3 Tecmo Koei
04. 05. Attack on Titan 42,311 135,782 3DS Spike Chunsoft
New 06. Call of Duty: Ghost (Dubbed Version) 37,519 New PS3 Square Enix
01. 07. Gran Turismo 6 37,306 242,090 PS3 Sony
05. 08. Inazuma Eleven Go Galaxy: Big Bang and Supernova 30,517 122,160 3DS Level 5
11. 09. Monster Hunter 4 27,921 3,030,279 3DS Capcom
16. 10. Animal Crossing: New Leaf 26,409 3,522,987 3DS Nintendo
17. 11. Tomodachi Collection: New Life 22,189 1,545,717 3DS Nintendo
18. 12. Aikatsu! Futari no My Princess 18,415 117,675 3DS Namco Bandai
15. 13. One Piece Unlimited World: RED 17,906 141,280 3DS Namco Bandai
24. 14. Disney Magic Castle: My Happy Life 17,628 350,022 3DS Namco Bandai
27. 15. New Super Mario Bros. 2 15,128 2,158,254 3DS Nintendo
14. 16. Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 15,058 243,425 PS3 Konami
29. 17. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon 15,051 958,510 3DS Nintendo
10. 18. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII 14,837 373,592 PS3 Square Enix
12. 19. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2
14,566 121,499 3DS Sega
25. 20. Taiko Drum Master: Wii U Version 13,980 51,436 WiiU Namco Bandai


Sales data acquired from 4Gamer, Media Create and

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.