The latest entry in the role-playing franchise sold 188,562 copies in its first week of Japanese sales.
While the Persona games have enjoyed some success in North America, the mainline Shin Megami Tensei series that started it all has remained something of a cult property. In other parts of the world, however, that couldn't be less the case. The game enjoys considerable popularity in its native Japan, a fact well displayed by Shin Megami Tensei IV's recent debut at the number one spot on Japanese sales charts.
Released only last week on the 3DS, Shin Megami Tensei IV has sold more than 188,000 copies, beating out other popular titles like Resident Evil: Revelations which debuted at numbers three (PS3), ten (Wii U) and eleven (360), respectively. The game's release would also seem to have done wonders for the 3DS XL (LL in Japan) in the region. Sales of Nintendo's extra-large handheld almost doubled in the period following Shin Megami Tensei IV's debut.
There's a good chance we won't see quite the same performance when the game hits American shores on July 16th. That said, there's always hope that the game could defy its past performances. Despite the arguable niche status of JRPGs in North America, Fire Emblem: Awakening sold a solid 180,000 copies in its first month at American retail, setting new records for the franchise. Shin Megami Tensei IV, for its part, looks like it's shaping up into a really interesting game, so we're hoping it finds similar success.
Note: It has been demonstrated that recent years have seen the Shin Megam Tensei's sales improve in North America. This means Shin Megami Tensei IV might do better when released in the United States than originally represented.