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.

Henry Gilbert

Henry Gilbert is a former GamesRadar+ Editor, having spent seven years at the site helping to navigate our readers through the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. Henry is now following another passion of his besides video games, working as the producer and podcast cohost of the popular Talking Simpsons and What a Cartoon podcasts.