Some were disappointed by seeing Xenoblade Chronicles X place only third in the Media Create software chart, but comparing its debut week sales with historical data reveals that everyone’s darling mecha JRPG did not underperform. Quite the opposite, actually.
Xenoblade Chronicles X (Or just Xenoblade X, as it’s called in Japan), sold 85,586 copies in its first week in Japan. As of May 2nd, the Wii U sold a rather modest 2,315,751 units in the country. This means that about 3.7% of Japanese Wii U users purchased the game on day one or close to it. This doesn’t even count digital sales, that aren’t tracked by Media Create.
Back in 2010, the first Xenoblade Chonicles did top the Media Create chart, but it sold “only” 82.952 copies. Xenoblade Chornicles X managed to outperform its predecessor out of the gate. The most relevant piece of data is the comparative installed base. By the release of Xenoblade Chornicles, the Wii had sold in Japan 10,364,020 units, meaning that only 0.8% of Japanese Wii users bought the game in its debut week.
To complete our analysis, we can also look at the more recent release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. It sold 56,932 copies at debut, among a installed base of 1,771,481 New 3DS consoles (the game works only on the new version of Nintendo’s portable). This means that 3.2% of New 3DS users bought the game on its first week on the Japanese shelves.
We easily notice that Xenoblade Chronicles X not only did not really underperform, considering the historical performance of the series, but it outperformed its predecessor, by a whole lot in the case of the first release on the Wii, if we take in account the overwhelming difference in installed base.