The PlayStation Vita, let’s face it, isn’t exactly doing well in Japan. Just look at recent sales statistics for proof. During the week of January 7th through 13th, 2013, the Nintendo 3DS and 3DS LL (XL, as it’s known internationally) sold roughly 92,000 units. The PS Vita? 11,088. The Nintendo 3DS SKUs are selling practically eight times as well as the PS Vita; and, quite frankly, this was a slow week for the system.
Nintendo’s newest handheld finally has a system selling lineup in Japan. Games like Animal Crossing, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Paper Mario and Mario Kart 7 are driving sales. Guess which non-Nintendo developed game is also driving sales on a week-to-week basis in Japan. Monster Hunter Tri G. That game was given a release date for the States on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS yesterday under the title of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.
The thing is, Monster Hunter is massive in Japan. It’s collossal. This franchise is pretty much the sole reason for the PSP’s longevity in its home nation. Sony floated its first handheld’s lifespan almost entirely on the success of the Monster Hunter franchise. Then, something scary happened for Sony. Monster Hunter 4 was announced as a Nintendo 3DS exclusive.
In December, Capcom announced that they were delaying Monster Hunter 4 until the summer of 2013 specifically to add some polish to the game. Now, a report from Japanese gaming magazine GameLab, as found by Kotaku, suggests that there’s more to this delay than mere polish.
GameLab indicates that Monster Hunter 4 is also being set up for a simultaneous release on the PS Vita in Japan. If this is true, and I highly suggest you take this with a grain of salt, the future success of the PS Vita might be salvaged. Though, I believe Nintendo would be hard-pressed to give up such a massive exclusive as Monster Hunter 4.
We’ll have more on this as the game nears release.