3DS outsells PS Vita during Japanese launch week thanks partly to Monster Hunter

First week sales don't really prove anything in the long run and fanboys should at least wait until a system launches in all territories before judging it. One need only look at the sales history of the PS3 or 3DS to see that first month or even first year sales don't decide a system's success. With that out of the way, can you believe the 3DS totally beat the PS Vita during its first week in Japan?

As we mentioned yesterday, the Vita moved more than 320,000 units in its first week on sale in Japan (two of those purchased by us), which is pretty great. However, the 3DS that week sold 367,691 according to Media Create sales chart, and in case you didn’t know, that number is bigger than the 324,859 the same chart says Vita sold. How did this happen?

There’s one easy explanation: Monster Hunter. Monster Hunter 3G launched on the 3DS late the week before, and has now sold 730,386 in a matter of days, not surprising for arguably Japan’s most popular franchise. Also helping bolster the 3DS was the launch of a new Inazuma Eleven game, a series that’s not hot America, but has been a huge success for Layton creators Level 5 in Japan. Add to that the continued popularity of Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land with the 3DS’s lower price point, and the sales results make sense.

Both did really well, so there’s no real “loser,” but we’ll be interested to see how this plays out in the next weeks. Also of interest is that the top selling Vita game, Hot Shots Golf, sold only 60,000, Uncharted selling nearly 50,000, and the remaining two in the top 20 selling almost 30K. Not particularly strong software sales for a launch, though Sony hasn’t shared download sales stats, and based on the company’s history, probably never will.

Ultimately we think no matter what the ranking, Vita had a great first week, and we hope the company loyalists out there will at least wait for the international launch February 22 next year before passing any real judgment. In the meantime, check out our comprehensive PS Vita import coverage link and on our just launched PS Vita page.


  • MetaMoss - December 21, 2011 8:45 p.m.

    Rule one of Japanese Video Game Market: If it has a new Monster Hunter, there is no contest.
  • CaptCOMMANDO - December 21, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    They just need to put out a better monster hunter on the PSV and it'll make some sales.
  • Redeater - December 21, 2011 1:54 p.m.

    This proves nothing but it does show me that people are willing to pay for anything. I was 100% on board with this until I saw their proprietary card nonsense. I'm not paying 300-400 for a fucking handheld.
  • tiben36 - December 21, 2011 2:58 p.m.

    its 250 for the wi-fi
  • Redeater - December 21, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    You going to be playing any games without a mem card? From what I hear it's impossible. So add another $50-100 to that $250 then then add your local tax.
  • yami930 - December 21, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    The explaination is simple as to why the 3DS number is higher. The week sales for 3DS is for the whole week (7 days), while the PS Vita being first week sales, only the number of units sold until the end of the week it launches is accounted for, so the PS Vitas number is only for 2 days (Dec 17 - Dec 18). So when looking at the numbers, the Vita did pretty well, being 2 days of sell, almost matches 7 days of the 3DS selling, as well as looking at how the 3DS just released their Mario games, and have Monster Hunter right now, which gives them a little boost in sales.
  • yami930 - December 21, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    I also forgot to mention the Vita game sales (like uncharted and the hot shots golf) numbers are just for the 2 days the vita has been out for that week, so 60,000 or near 50,000 is not so bad for just 2 days.
  • shawksta - December 21, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    Yeah not bad for first few days for the Vita, though "a little boost in sales" in kinda undersaying it, the 3DS got a much bigger increase in sales because of the better games compared to back then.
  • talleyXIV - December 21, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    As a 3DS and PS3 owner I feel I am allowed to say "ooh, burn." As the launch of the 3DS made me feel sad.
  • samsneeze - December 21, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    I kind of saw this. Like I said before, the handheld that sells the most will be the one that has the more appealing games. The 3DS floundered until recently because the games released for the system have been rather weak in my opinion. I'm probably just going to wait until Monster Hunter 4 rolls around since the current 3DS Monster Hunter doesn't have online if I remenber correctly.

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