Here’s the release info, sales speculation, and other little news bits regarding the PlayStation brand in Japan. I wrote portions of this shortly before the most recent sales figures update, but couldn’t post this until now. Forgive a couple of slightly outdated comments on that topic. The rest is good though!
Namco Bandai has announced that PSP RPG One Piece: Romance Dawnwill be getting a special hardware bundle when it is released on December 20. The pack will include the game and a black PSP-3000 with special One Piece crossbones artwork on the back, and it’ll sell for 19,780 yen (about $235 by today’s conversion rate).
In other anime related news, and not too coincidentally, other Namco Bandai news, it’s been revealed that the next Naruto fighter will have ring-outs, as shown in this trailer:
This has been causing some controversy among the fan base, as the YouTube page itself is loaded with comments expressing dismay. I guess that explains the high number of dislikes.
While we’re posting videos, let’s post one that will make us all a little bit uncomfortable. The next AKB game, AKB 1/149 Love Election for both PSP and Vita, will be coming out December 20th. It’s another dating sim starring the members of Japanese pop idol group AKB 48, as well as other, incredibly similar acts. Of course, winning their hearts nets you some kiss action. Technology doesn’t allow a woman to actually pop out of the screen and kiss you (yet), so this is the best we’ve got:
I already joke about making sweet love to both my PSP and Vita regularly, but knowing for a serious truth that this will make at least a couple thousand people kiss their screens — possibly in public — is a little unsettling.
Tales of Xillia 2, Yakuza I&II HD Collection, and Okami HD made their debuts on the first of the month, and you can expect to see all three near the top of the sales charts when we get the data. The front-runner will be Tales of Xillia 2, whose elder game took top honors during its debut last year.Dead Island: Zombie of the Year Edition and NBA 2K13 were also released on this day. On the 8th, PS3 gamers got Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires andSilent Hill Downpour.
The 15th might well be named “The Western Invasion,” as Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Assassin’s Creed III, and Medal of Honor: Warfighter will all be released. The only Japanese PS3 game being released that day isDream Club Complete Edipyon. That’s not a typo in the title, it’s a Japanese-language pun about the sound a rabbit makes when it jumps, andDream Club is a series about girls who…just…just don’t worry about it, never mind.
The 22nd has a boatload of PS3 titles moving into “Greatest Hits” status:SSX, inFamous 2, Killzone 3, LittleBigPlanet 2, and Grand Theft Auto IV Complete Edition. That’s a lot of budget right there…. Oh, right, new games, um, the Doom 3 BFG Edition comes out.
The last release day of the month, the 29th closes out PS3′s November withDarksiders II, Sports Champions 2, and Super Robot Wars OG 2. That last one will also be available in a “Complete BD Box” that includes 26 episodes of the Super Robot Wars anime and an art book, and will for a price of 41,000 yen (about $500). And you thought the Final Fantasy Anniversary Collection was expensive, ha.
Sony’s original portable began the month with sports titles Winning Eleven 2013 and NBA 2K13 arriving on shelves, as well as Greatest Hits re-releases of Patapon 2 and White Knight Chronicles Portable Episode: Dogma Wars. This week will bring only some budget-friendly versions of Fairy Tale Portable 2 and Dynasty Warriors Mao Sairin.
On the 15th, PSP will get highly anticipated RPG Summon Night 4, and on the 22nd, it gets four different visual novels. Some of them have special editions that sell for $120. Seriously, you would not believe the market for these things here.
Nippon Ichi will release a visual adventure of its own on the 29th with the oddly titled MISSINGPARTS the TANTEI Stories Complete (all capitalization and spacing preserved). Other PSP games releasing that day include a fighter based on the Saint Seiya anime series, Unchain Blade Exeev, and School Wars.
No new Vita games were shipped last week, and none will be shipped this week. The next Vita releases will arrive on the 15th, in the form ofAssassin’s Creed: Lady Liberty and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. The system will also get pretty new red and blue hardware on that day, so look for sales to get a much-needed spike.
Despite all other systems getting new software on the 22nd, Vita takes another week off.
On the 29th, it will see release of Fate/Stay Night ［Realta Nua］ (a PSP port with no new content), Atelier Totori Plus (PS3 port with bikinis), theSamurai and Dragons Deluxe Pack (regular version has been out for a few months), and a “Sega The Best” version of Virtua Tennis 4, which was a Vita launch title.
No lists this time, since we just had one, but here’s some sales perspective. The race to be the best-selling Vita game of the year in Japan looks to be a tight one between Persona 4: The Golden and Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f. P4G leads by about 30,000 units (claiming 260k versus Miku‘s 230k), but the game also came out more than two months earlier than Miku did, meaning its best days are a little further behind it. They’re both great games, so it’s nice to see them selling well, and it’ll be interesting to see which comes out on top. And yes, it is safe to say that they will be finishing #1 and #2, in whatever order, because as you’ve seen above, the rest of the year doesn’t have any Vita software releases that will really explode off the shelves.
American Thanksgiving is in November, Canadian Thanksgiving is a month behind us already, and there’s coincidentally a similarly named day here in Japan, on November 23rd. Most Japanese people have never eaten turkey, nor even have an oven big enough to cook one, so the Hindmans make it an annual event to have like 25 people over to our place (this is a lot for a quaint, Japanese house) for the works. My wife does up a turkey that we order online with frozen shipping, and we meanwhile whip up some stuffing, taters-n-gravy, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and all that good stuff.
Someone will inevitably show up with riceballs, and I won’t uppercut them because it’s the holidays. The first time it happened, the American part of me was thinking, “Get that **** out of here, bro.” But then I learned to mellow the hell out and accept that this is where we are and who we are. I think a lot of times when Americans use the buzz word “globalization,” they really mean “making other people do what we do in the exact way that WE do it,” which is OK some of the time, but not all of the time. I now welcome riceballs wrapped in seaweed, gyoza, and all manner of goofy Washoku at the Hindman Thanksgiving Dinner.
At some point during the dinner, we take a pause, and each person talks briefly about something he/she is especially thankful for in that particular year. It’s heartwarming to hear what everyone says, and cute to see the little kids get all shy and say things like ともだち (friends) and 母さん (mom).