Curious about what's big in Japan? Famitsu.com, the companion site to the popular Japanese gaming magazine, recently released a list of their top 100 most read stories from 2011. Here are the top 10:
- 1. The 2011 Playstation Meeting (Jan. 27th)
- 2. Monster Hunter announced for iPhone. (May 19th)
- 3. Super Robot Wars OG Second Chapter coming to PS3 (May 19th)
- 4. Monster Hunter 3rd HD (PS3) announcement (May 22nd)
- 5. Monster Hunter coming to 3DS announcement (Sept. 13th)
- 6. Keihaku Mahou Shoujou getting a mobile game (May 6th)
- 7. Announcement of Persona 4 The Golden for Playstation Vita (Sept.1st)
- 8. Dangan Ronpa 2 (PSP) to have murder meetings on a southern island (August 4th)
- 9. Part 1 of a guide to SD Gundam G Generation World for PSP (Feb. 3rd)
- 10. Announcement of Senran Kagura for 3DS (NSFW) (April 14th)
Of course if you live in North America or Europe most of these stories are probably unfamiliar to you, but that's part of the fun of peeking at what the rest of the world is up to. For example, you might not know that Monster Hunter remains a huge system seller in Japan and pretty much single-handedly revived the Sony PSP market. The Monster Hunter games are clearly as popular in Japan as Gears of War or Call of Duty are in North America, an intriguing fact when you consider that the Monster Hunter franchise has never done very well in other countries. The Playstation Meeting that earned Famitsu's top spot refers to the Sony press conference where they announced the Vita, though the lack of a Monster Hunter game on the system is leading many Japanese enthusiasts to pronounce the device dead after Japanese Vita sales plummeted. And frankly, this list (or at least the top 10) is probably more indicative of what kind of person reads Famitsu.com than what Japanese game fans think in general.
But perhaps not; the attentive folks at andriasang found and translated a list of what Famitsu readers felt were the most important stories of 2011, according to a poll on famitsu.com.
- 1. Nintendo 3DS price drop (August 11th)
- 2. PSN account leak (April 27th)
- 3. Monster Hunter coming to 3DS announcement (Sept. 13th)
- 4. Wii U announcement (June 8th)
- 5. Dragon Quest new title details announced (September 5th)
- 6. Nintendo 3DS first week sales (Feb. 28th)
- 7. PS Vita launch (Dec. 17th)
- 8. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd ships 4 million domestically (Jan. 5th)
- 9. Sony details new NGP hardware (Jan. 27th)
- 10. Monster Hunter 3G release date set. Circle Pad bundle also announced (Sept. 13th)
Which we can lovingly compare with the top 10 of IGN’s editor’s list of the top 50 stories of 2011.
- 1. Wii U Unveiled (June 7th)
- 2. PSN Hacked, Crashes, Burned (April 20th)
- 3. Supreme Court Throws out Game Censorship Laws (June 27th)
- 4. NGP Unveiled (Jan. 27th)
- 5. 3DS Is Released, Gets Massive Price Cut Months Later (July 28th)
- 6. Playstation 3 Price Drops (August 16th)
- 7. Grand Theft Auto V Announced (Nov. 2nd)
- 8. In Gaming Mobile Overtakes Nintendo and Sony (Nov. 9th)
- 9. Huge sales of Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 (Nov. 11th)
- 10. Skyrim (PS3) has lag and other issues (Dec. 5th)
IGN sort of petered out there at the end, didn’t it? But I guess they had to pad the list to make the full fifty. Meanwhile, Famitsu readers had their vote on important stories split by two different versions of the Monster Hunter 3rd G for 3DS announcement. Also worth noting, the difference between what Famitsu readers thought was important versus what got the most hits on their website is often very surprising. Notice that Wii U and Dragon Quest aren’t even present on the long list, and PSN ranks low at #77 and #91 while the games mentioned in the popularity top 10 that aren’t Monster Hunter all boast incredible cult followings thanks to their niche appeal.
Comparing and contrasting gaming cultural differences from country to country like this is always interesting, and it makes you wonder how gamers in other countries live. Would a South Korean StarCraft player share much in common with an Englishman fond of football management sims?