Latest News From Japan - Professor Layton + Twilight Princess A Dud!

SPOnGís man in Japan delivers the first of his regular round-up. So, letís talk Japanese games - in English, for convenience.

Posted by Staff
Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village - Mmmm, mysterious.
Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village - Mmmm, mysterious.
By Jonti Davies

Nintendoís decision not to include Wii Sports as a pack-in title with the Japanese SKU has turned out to be another commercial masterstroke by the company. Since going on sale last December, Wii Sports has been picked up by more than one million Japanese players (to be precise: 1,165,674 players, at the latest count) while 1,002,628 units of Wii Play have also been sold during that period. Both games remain high inside the Top Ten of the Japanese weekly sales chart, indicating they may have a shelf life similar to Nintendo's multi-million-selling Ďcasualí (read: accessible) DS games. (See Brain Training, Animal Crossing, English Training, and Nintendogs.)

The question is, what will be the third million-selling Wii game in Japan? Twilight Princess was a dud here, as expected, and I seriously think that Animal Crossing Wii will outsell even Super Mario Galaxy.

The Japanese market has changed in recent years. Itís all about Nintendo now, but NCLís most powerful IP is not the same as those it relied on in previous generations. Anyway, change is a Good Thing. And itís helping to build Nintendoís mountain of cash even higher Ė the summit is probably somewhere you could suffer from altitude sickness.

Itís still very difficult to buy a DS Lite or Wii here in Japan. Iíve never seen a second-hand Wii for sale in Kyoto, and only very rarely do shops here have used DS Lites in stock. But my local branch of Midori Denki (the Japanese equivalent of Comet) had eight used PS3s (of both 20GB and 60GB varieties) for sale yesterdayÖ

In terms of new games, Iíve spent most of the past week playing Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village. Itís not by Nintendo Ė we have Level-5 to thank for this one Ė but Layton is a typical example of the kind of DS game that will sell and sell in Japan: itís a gorgeously animated adventure, with puzzles that were designed with the help of a noted psychologist/author (someone called Akira Toga).

The psychologistís books are bestsellers, and the Professor Layton character is voiced by a famous Japanese actor/comedian called Yo Oizumi. Result: all sorts of people are interested in the game and Ė with more than 266,000 units sold in its first three weeks on sale Ė itís fair to say that all sorts of people are buying it.

Comments

Dreadknux 20 Mar 2007 15:01
1/7
I almost thought, the way the title was worded, that Professor Layton was a dud. Am kinda relieved to read otherwise, those kinds of games usually sell loads.

Good to see a Japanese roundup on SPOnG. I'm mental keen on Japan and eventually I'll get to live there. One week in Tokyo was all it took to make up my mind, lol. Am trying to go for two weeks this year, but not looking good so far... XP
sneakyduck 20 Mar 2007 15:06
2/7
First of all - love the feature. It was very insightful.

One question though: why was Twighlight Princess expected to be a dud? I'd heard it was catered to us westerners but is that really such a bad thing that folks back home wouldn't buy it?
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Jonti 20 Mar 2007 16:12
3/7
sneakyduck wrote:

One question though: why was Twighlight Princess expected to be a dud? I'd heard it was catered to us westerners but is that really such a bad thing that folks back home wouldn't buy it?


Well, the last Zelda game to sell a million+ in Japan was Ocarina of Time (1.46 million copies flogged). But that was a decade ago. Majora's Mask and Wind Waker didn't get to a million in Japan, and they were released when the N64 and Cube (respectively) were well established and had large user-bases. .:. Twilight Princess was never going to sell a million in Japan.
Joji 20 Mar 2007 16:26
4/7
Nice to hear from someone out there in japan (MORE OF THIS PLEASE, SPONG CREW), a more regular report on things out there would be sweet.

Nintendo are happy with all that cash and that's cool, but lets hope mo money don't bring mo problems for them. They have a good lead but they need to take steps to keep it. Complacency can be their weakness.

I like the look of these Professor games, never read any books or anything but they look interesting.




majin dboy 20 Mar 2007 16:41
5/7
u idiots.....stop telling spong that they are good,u r all playing rite into tim smiths hands(and wallet),let them think they are crap so they try harder and harder,until we are the only ones who know about the best site in the world mwahhahahahaha
TimSpong 20 Mar 2007 17:23
6/7
majin dboy wrote:
u idiots.....stop telling spong that they are good,u r all playing rite into tim smiths hands(and wallet),let them think they are crap so they try harder and harder,until we are the only ones who know about the best site in the world mwahhahahahaha


You leave my (Mwhahaha) wallet out of (Mwahahah) this!

Cha-ching...
ajmetz 21 Mar 2007 11:37
7/7
That game sounds really interesting, and the artwork totally lush, are we gonna see it released in the UK, eventually?
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