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Forums - Sales Discussion - Japanese sales: 3DS 2013 vs DS 2006 (Week 41!)

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What will the 3DS's year-end sales be in Japan?

Over 8 mil! There's still hope! 37 31.62%
7-8 mil. Absurdly well, but not DS 06 level. 23 19.66%
5.5-7 mil. Better than la... 33 28.21%
5-5.5 mil. Over Nintendo... 13 11.11%
Under 5 mil. Dooooooom! 7 5.98%
Under 3 mil. SUPER DOOOOOOOOOM!! 2 1.71%

In 2006, the DS lit Japan on fire. The console sold over 8.4 million hardware units in that region alone, led by beyond-blockbuster releases New Super Mario Bros. and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, with some help from regular-blockbusters including Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker, Kirby Squeak Squad, and a remake of Final Fantasy III.

In 2012, the 3DS sold a respectable 5.5 million consoles in Japan. Top-sellers included New Super Mario Bros. 2, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D.

The 3DS's 2013 line-up has been slowly building into an absolute Japanese powerhouse. Coming off the heels of major releases Animal Crossing and Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the console should be selling decently from the get-go. Games scheduled to release this year in Japan include Monster Hunter 4, Dragon Quest VII 3D, and the newly-revealed Pokémon X and Y, the first ever fully-3D main series Pokémon titles. Other major upcoming releases including Luigi's Mansion and Castlevania suggest that the 3DS will have a banner year in Japan.

Could the 3DS pull it off? Is it even possible, or will it ever again be possible to achieve such enormous success for a dedicated video game console? Could the 3DS even come close?

Now with 100% more chartz!


The tally as of week 41:

DS 06 -- 6,058,444
3DS 13 -- 3,475,138
Adv DS +2,583,306

The main comparison is between 3DS 2013 and DS 2006. DS 2007 used to be included because it was thrown around a couple of times, but I replaced it with 3DS 2012 because that's a more interesting comparison at this time. It's in there very lightly as a reference point. The blue numbers represent major releases or events that significantly affected DS sales in 2006, while gold letters represent major releases or events that significantly affected 3DS sales in 2013.

1: English Training: Have Fun Improving Your Skills! released, selling 253k its opening week and 1.65 million by year's end.
2: DS Lite Japanese launch.
3: Pokemon Ranger released, selling 197k its opening week and 711k by year's end.
4: Tetris DS released, selling 218k its opening week and 1.00 million by year's end.
5: New Super Mario Bros. released, selling 910k its opening week and 3.96 million by year's end.
6: Personal Trainer: Cooking released, selling 134k its opening week and 707k by year's end.
7: Tomagotchi Connection: Corner Shop 2 released, selling 197k its opening week and 730k by year's end.
8: Final Fantasy III released, selling 513k its opening week and 958k by year's end.
9: Pokémon Diamond and Pearl released, selling 1.65 million its first two weeks and 4.47 million by year's end.
10: Kanshuu Nippon [...] Training DS released, selling 204k its opening week and 964k by year's end.
11: Kirby Squeak Squad released, selling 163k its opening week and 743k by year's end.
12: Oshare Majo Love and Berry: DS Collection released, selling 433k its opening week and 792k by year's end.
13: Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker released, selling 627k its opening week, the final week of the year.

A: Dragon Quest VII 3D released, selling 836k its opening week, and 1.24 million by year's end.
B: Professor Layton and the Legacy of Super Civilization A released, selling 133k its opening week and 244k by year's end.
C: Luigi's Mansion 2 released, selling 297k its opening week and 1.01 million by year's end.
D: Tomodachi Collection: New Life released, selling 406k its opening week and 1.63 million by year's end.
E: Ace Attorney 5 released, selling 247k its opening week and 363k by year's end.
F: Monster Hunter 4 released, selling 1.78 its million opening week and 3.23 million by year's end.
G: Pokemon X/Y released, selling 1.94 million its opening week and 3.94 million by year's end.
H: Puzzle & Dragons Z released, selling 541k its opening week and 1.16 million by year's end.
I: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds released, selling 225k its opening week, the final week of the year.

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Yes. Those three titles will do it.


Maybe I should track 3DS 2013 vs DS 2006 in this thread? Weekly update? Could be interesting.


RolStoppable said:
Not going to happen with the currently known games. For an 8m+ year there needs to be something new that draws in the masses. With these established IPs alone it will already have trouble to hit 7m in 2013.

On a sidenote, the DS has distorted the perception of people. I think the peak year for a non-Nintendo system in Japan was only in the ballpark of 4m. But here we are and call 5.5m "respectable".

I don't think the 3DS will beat the DS's record, but lifetime sales in Japan are a different story. If third parties drop the PSV, then the 3DS will have a much longer tail than the DS.

Having trouble hitting 7 million sounds quite alright to me. And if you'd like to, feel free to read "respectable" as though I was joking! I know what I said, haha.

We don't know anything about the second half of the year for the 3DS except for Pokémon. There could be more. It's impossible to say at this point, but I assume there will be releases between May and October, both first- and third-party. Either way, if ever there was a year for the 3DS to make the attempt, this is it. This has got to be the 3DS's best year in Japan when all is said and done -- I don't know how you can beat a new generation of Pokémon AND a new main series Monster Hunter in the same year.

No, I think 2006 for Nintendo was an unrepeatable year. A console redesign, a new 2D Super Mario entry after something like 14-13 years, Mario Kart DS just released a couple of months before in 2005, the "casual" market explosion with Brain Age (even my mother got a DS that year), Nintendogs was still showing legs.
2013 will be a very strong year, (the Pokemon + Monster Hunter combination is just huge) but I doubt it will beat 2006.

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the_dengle said:

Maybe I should track 3DS 2013 vs DS 2006 in this thread? Weekly update? Could be interesting.

It would be greatly appreciated.

I think it still needs something. It will be a great year, and if Nintendo is saving the 3DS lite for 2014, I think they will not do that bad agains the DS.

RolStoppable said:

Yes, 2013 will be the 3DS's best shot at beating the DS's record. But it's an insanely high mark: An average of 160k units per week or approximately 8 years of Vita.

It is completely insane. That's why it's so much fun to talk about!

......Man, poor Vita.

I agree you should track the sales weekly, could be exciting.

While I dont think it will quite reach the previous record it might get really close. I hope theres a limited edition XL for the new 3DS Pokemon games

the_dengle said:

Maybe I should track 3DS 2013 vs DS 2006 in this thread? Weekly update? Could be interesting.

Yes you should. It would be quite intressting.

Check out my Upcoming Wii U Games 2014 Thread

3DS Friend Code: 4553 - 9954 - 4854. Name - David

I think there will be a 3DS redesign of some kind this year. It will look like WiiU. Nintendo updates their handhelds all the time. The XL is so last year, I'm sure they're bored.