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Land of the rising sun? More like land of the rising Sony hardware sales

If you'll pardon the rather heavy handed pun in the title, we can let you in on some choice information regarding Sony console sales in Japan. The week ending the 1st of July saw increased sales for the PS3, PS2 and PSP. We've collated all the interesting statistics into handy bullet points for you, so check them out below. All increases are compared to the week ending the 24th of June.
  • PS2: 16,316 sold. An increase of 26%
  • PSP: 38,305 sold. An increase of 15%
  • PS3: 11,914 sold. An increase of 20%
The rise in PSP sales can no doubt be put down to the recent release of Monster Hunter Portable 2, the latest in a series which has been a huge hit in Japan. The latest in the series hit the top spot on the Japanese charts, beating Wii Sports and Pokemon Diamond/Pearl. We look forward to seeing how the game does in the coming weeks and whether it influences even more PSP sales. We'll let you know.

Monster Hunter dominates Japanese sales charts

Nothing, not even the mighty Wii Sports, could get close to the awesome sales of Monster Hunter Portable 2nd. Japanese sales for the first half of the year have been tallied up and surprisingly, this PSP game rose to the top of the list.

It should be comforting to publishers to see a PSP game do so well. Hopefully, this will encourage Japanese publishers to continue developing for the platform. The top three games for PSP this year so far include Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops.

[Via IGN]

Pre-order Monster Hunter Freedom 2 and get a plush

Asia got some pretty awesome loot for their pre-order bonuses. Posters, scarves, gold rings ... So what does America get? A Watermelon Pet Poogie plush.

Cute? Yes. Exciting? Not really. To get your pre-order bonus, stop by a GameStop.

[Via CAG]

Thousands of PSP fans appear for Monster Hunter event

Over 6,500 people showed up to a recent Monster Hunter Portable 2nd tournament held in Tokyo. Of course, one could argue that if the game had Infrastructure support, the need to meet up with other systems physically wouldn't be needed ...

The festivities don't end there, though. Capcom is continuing their "Monster Hunter Fest" with similar tournaments to be held in Osaka, Sapporo and Nagoya. The finals will return to Tokyo on June 10th.

[Via PSP-Vault]

Monster Hunter interview extols the virtues of multiplayer

Ryosuke Tsujimoto, producer of the Monster Hunter series, spoke to GameTrailers about how the Monster Hunter series gained in popularity. Word of mouth was crucial to the game's success, and PSP was the ideal platform due to its portability. People would look at the screen, say "sugoi," and buy their own copies.

Not to beat a dead horse, but once again, we'd like to remind Capcom that because multiplayer is so crucial to the game experience, they should've done more and include Infrastructure. Regardless of our frustration at Capcom's lack of foresight, we do admit that the game looks quite marvelous graphically.

Lack of second analog makes Monster Hunter better on PSP

People are enamored by Monster Hunter, even with its suspicious lack of online gameplay. Why, you ask? 1UP's Milkman describes his personal Monster Hunter obsession on his personal blog: "I love a game where you try and collect the coolest gear possible. It's why I loved Diablo II, and it's why I played the sh-t out of Phantasy Star Online and Final Fantasy XI."

Considering how Monster Hunter Portable 2 includes content from the never-released-in-America Monster Hunter Dos, Milkman seems overly eager to get his hands on the game. Interestingly, the series has improved on its transition from PS2 to PSP due to the lack of a second analog stick. On the console, attacks were relegated to the right analog, which felt unnatural: "I like the controls a lot better on PSP too, since it dispenses with the analog nonsense and just puts the attacks on the buttons." Do you share Milkman's enthusiasm for the title too?

See tons of new screenshots and artwork from VG Gen.

Capcom offers weak excuse for Ad-hoc only play in Monster Hunter

We're all bummed by Monster Hunter Freedom 2's lack of Infrastructure. It's absolutely mind-boggling. Sure, we can use tunneling services to trick the game, but Capcom should have known better. 1UP's Milkman agrees, and constantly brings the issue up in his latest interview with Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto. Capcom's excuse is absolutely terrible: "The reason we went with Ad Hoc wireless play for the PSP version was because the reason for having a PSP is the ability to take it out on the town, or to play with groups of friends while sitting down. Like when you go to the arcade with friends, you go to play with people in the same vicinity -- you don't go to play with people across the country. So we really wanted to focus on having ad hoc multiplayer, so you could sit with a group of friends and talk about strategies. And that's what the real fun part is."

Excuse me? That simply doesn't make sense. Should World of Warcraft be limited to Ad-Hoc play because that's what "the real fun" is? Sorry Capcom, that doesn't cut the mustard. Tsujimoto does offer a concession: "But in the future, it's something we can think about if the fans want something like that and let us know." But we did let you know!

Monster Hunter Freedom 2 at Capcom's Gamers Day

Monster Hunter Freedom 2 is set to destroy America. The Japanese release was a massive success, selling over a million copies within days. With more than 350 missions, 700 weapons and 1,400 pieces of armor, Monster Hunter offers gaming that just doesn't seem possible on a portable. If that weren't enough to satiate a hungry RPG player, downloadable quests will be offered for those want an even longer journey. Could this game be too big for its own good?

Although the game offers so much to do and see, it's unfortunate that Capcom isn't adding Infrastructure support for this massive sequel. Even with the pretty graphics and impressive-looking gameplay, the lack of true online multiplayer can be a deal-breaker.

[Via IGN]

Korea gets Monster Hunter swag

Doesn't that Monster Hunter bracelet (pictured, right) look hot? In celebration of the Korean release of the insanely popular RPG, one random purchaser of the game was treated to one of the sexiest pieces of swag we've seen. According to Ruliweb, ten others were treated to some impressive action figures.

However, no one walked away empty-handed. Like the Japanese, Koreans were treated to other swag items for pre-ordering. Early adopters received some premium posters.

Capcom hasn't announced any incentives for the impending US release. But, if we're lucky enough, we'll also be able to get our hands on some swag of this caliber.

[Thanks, Mike for the translation! Via PSP-Vault]

Monster Hunter continues to slay sales charts in Japan

Like Pocket Monsters that live in a PSP instead of a capsule, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd continues to be immensely popular in Japan. The sales charts for last week show that Capcom's Monster killer has gone on to sell another 64,368 units bringing it's total sales up to 1,000,599 units. If ever there was a game that was obviously in line to get a sequel, this is it. Luckily for US gamers, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd will be coming to the US, so you only have to add to the Japanese sales if you're impatient.

[Via The Magic Box]

Xlink Kai turns Ad-Hoc into Infrastructure

It's been a long time coming, but internet tunneling for PSP seems to finally be in full-swing. With Xlink Kai, and a compatible Wi-Fi adapter, you'll be able to play Ad-Hoc games, like Monster Hunter, online. Watch Impress was able to squeeze in 2500 people into a Monster Hunter Portable 2nd game room. All that's needed is: an Xlink Kai account (which is currently free) and a compatible Wi-Fi adapter, such as the PCI Gamering XII, which includes the appropriate drivers.

When booting up a game in Ad-Hoc mode, it will make other Xlink Kai users appear as if they're in the same room as you. With Xlink, so many of the PSP multiplayer games that fans have been collecting won't feel so lonely anymore.

[Thanks, Steve! Via gearfuse]

Monster Hunter Freedom 2 announced for Europe [Update 1]

No surprise here. After selling 700,000 copies in its first week in Japan, Monster Hunter's sequel is set to dominate the rest of the world. Or, at least Europe. According to a new press release from Capcom Europe, "Capcom plans to release this game as Monster Hunter Freedom 2 across PAL territories in September 2007."

While no US release has been announced yet, we're expecting an official statement soon. Certainly, Capcom USA wouldn't want to miss this excuse to literally print money?

[Update 1: The US press release states that the game is coming to the States in September as well.]

Monster Hunter slays Japan's sales charts

We knew Monster Hunter Portable 2nd was a big seller, but now the official numbers are out. The weekly sales report from Mainichi Interactive states that Capcom has blown away sales expectations by selling 700,000 units in its first week. This easily puts Monster Hunter Portable 2nd one of the best selling PSP games yet in Japan. PSP hardware also sold quite well in the same time, coming in at number 3 in the hardware sales charts. Let's hope this news means more Capcom content on Sony's portable.

[Via IGN ]

Downloadable quests hit Monster Hunter 2 in Japan

Yesterday in Japan, Monster Hunter fans were able to go to their local game stores and download new quests from the demo kiosk's "PlayStation Spot". In addition to quests and more, PSP owners who don't own Monster Hunter Portable 2nd can download a demo of the game.

With reports of Monster Hunter 2 coming outside of Japan, let's hope this additional content is either included in the version we get, or that we can similarly download the content. I personally dig the idea of downloadable content on the PSP and I hope more games start to feature it. Does downloadable content appeal to you as well?

[Via Game Watch]

The mob lines up for Monster Hunter

We knew it was going to be big ... but now you can see the frantic crowds trying to grab a copy of the PSP action game, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd. The crowds were so big, you'd think that another console was launching. See more of the chaos and mayhem over at Famitsu.

Of course, will the game meet such incredible fanfare here in the States? Unlikely. But, Japan is where the PSP is struggling the greatest, in comparison to the DS. Certainly, this will give a much-needed boost to our platform over in the land of the rising sun. With US sales toe-to-toe with Nintendo's portable, and this highly successful launch, can anyone really say the PSP is dead?

Interested importers can check out Play Asia to join in the madness.

[Via Joystiq]

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