PSP is the Top Selling Handheld in Japan Once Again

The Nintendo 3DS is loosing some of the speed that it burst onto the scene with, while the PSP has retaken its place as the top selling handheld gaming system in Japan. Sadly, the earthquake and tsunami damage that rocked Japan in March has probably done quite a bit to set back sales of the 3DS. Reportedly, only slightly more than half of the initial Japanese shipment of 3DS units had even been sold by March. That comes to a total of 836,000 3DS units.

As of July 2011, the PSP was still pulling ahead of their Nintendo competition. During the week of July 10, the PSP sold over 26,000 units while the 3DS only sold around 23,000. That difference is perhaps more important than it might seem. Danboru Senki, which is also known as the Little Battlers among other titles, is the sixth best selling game in Japan. The last sales charts showed that no 3DS game was outselling it.

That particular RPG has the potential to become a real media franchise. If it does, the PSP would have a selling point among fans of the series in Japan. Danboru Senki follows the story of an individual who does battle with plastic robot models. In March, TV Tokyo premiered a Danboru Senki anime series. The show itself is based on a tabletop gaming system. A Danboru Senki manga has also enjoyed some popularity.

With the huge number of RPG titles that have already made waves on the PSP, this is an interesting opportunity. Mecha combat is not a new idea by any means, but these sorts of games usually do decent business. Other PSP games have also done relatively strong business in Japan recently, and many of them are connected to popular media franchise. Haruhi Suzumiya’s Mahjong and Gundam Memories: Memories of the Battle are both connected to series that rank among Japan's top properties.

To Heart 2 Dungeon Travelers is a game that saw some fare business in the week that sales were measured. It was descended from a line of romance visual novel games. Steins;Gate shares a similar lineage. That visual novel game is set in Akihabara. That setting might prove interesting to people who are in the market for such games. If the PSP should continue to enjoy such growth, however, remains to be seen. With games like these, though, it might continue to outrank the Nintendo 3DS.

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