For those of you who don’t know that the Xbox 360 is doing terribly in Japan, well, the Xbox 360 is doing terribly in Japan. To give you an idea of the scope of Microsoft’s problem, a mere two Xbox games cracked Famitsu’s Top 30 sales chart for the week of September 8th-14th, while a whopping seventeen made the list for the DS.
But honestly, it’s not news that the 360 is floundering while the DS is dominating. What is news is that this was a very, very good week for Microsoft. One of the aforementioned 360 titles was Square Enix’s Infinite Undiscovery. It managed to move over 86,000 units in its first four days, good enough for a number three spot on the chart. Of course, that’s less than a tenth of the nearly 1 million units that earned Pokemon: Platinum the top spot (in just two days, no less!), but what are you gonna do?
While it’s inconceivable that the 360 will ultimately become a financial success in Japan, Infinite Undiscovery could nevertheless be a huge boon to Microsoft. Some previous 360 titles made blips on the Japanese charts (Gears of War, Halo 3, and Mistwalker’s Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey), but none of them had any lasting impact.
It’s still too early to tell if Infinite Undiscovery will continue to sell, or quickly fade like the others, but there’s one notable difference in this case. Infinite Undiscovery is moving hardware. A game store in Fukushima Prefecture reported, “Infinite Undiscovery was flying off the shelves, but we ran out of 360’s.” This anecdotal evidence is supported by an impressive 2nd place finish in the console arms race. Trailing the 63,125 units of (of course) the DS, Microsoft got 28,681 Xboxes into gamers’ hands, narrowly edging out 3rd place Wii, and 4th place PSP. Oh, and it crushed the PS3, which only sold 8,050 units. Let the flame wars begin!