It’s an interesting question, after all. Nintendo never openly published sales data for eShop downloads outside of a few revenue figures and cumulative download statistics during an E3 press conference.
Unlike in Japan – where Nintendo began an innovative initiative that saw retailers sell download cards at below RRP – retail software can only be purchased off the eShop, and at RRP. So £39.99 for most games, with a promotion for double Club Nintendo stars on top. Oh goodie…
Interestingly, though, Professor Layton sits at number 9 for Nintendo’s “Recent Bestsellers” charts on the European eShop. No other 3DS retail software appears in the list, and it even outsold vastly cheaper software that has been heavily promoted by Nintendo of Europe (during Nintendo Direct, for example), such as Liberation Maiden, Picross e and Hana Samurai.
While it has been outsold by a few titles – mostly those featured in Nintendo’s weeky sales – what’s important is relative pricing: £39.99 Layton at number 9 still seems far more impressive than Art of Balance Touch (which was on sale last week) at number 4. It seems almost crazy that, at that price, it would be charting at all.
But people clearly don’t mind paying. Perhaps the way Layton releases have retained their value in the past, combined with the sheer convenience of being able to access Layton 5′s daily downloadable puzzles from a game on your home menu, helped offset the ~£5-10 increase in price over the retail version. It’s a game that puzzle fans want there, all the time, without the inconvenience of having it on a fiddly little cart they have to avoid dropping down the sofa. And clearly they don’t mind paying for the convenience.
Here’s Nintendo’s Recent Bestsellers list for all eShop software in full:
1. Pokémon Dream Radar
2. Pokédex 3D Pro
3. Let’s Golf 3D
4. Art of Balance TOUCH!
5. Super Mario Bros.
6. Heavy Fire: Special Operations 3D
8. Cut The Rope
9. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
10. LIBERATION MAIDEN
11. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
12. Plants Vs Zombies
13. MEGA MAN
14. Hana Samurai: Art of the Sword
15. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX
16. Monster Shooter
17. 3D Classics: Kirby’s Adventure
18. Colors! 3D
19. Crazy Chicken Pirates 3D
20. Picross e