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Retailers Make Their Top Picks For the Holidays

Games Maya rep expects Monster Hunter Portable 3rd launch to be biggest sales day for the year.

Retailers expect Ni no Kuni and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd to be big titles this holiday season.

Famitsu recently quizzed representatives from major retailers about what games they feel will be big in the year-end buying season. Results were posted in the issue that hit retail today.

Responding to the questions were Kazuhito Kita of Sofmap, Tatsuo Shimoda of Bic Camera, Toshihiko Kon of Messe Sanoh, Noriyuki Mitsui of Geo Hyper Media Shop, and Hisako Akitani of Games Maya. The magazine asked everyone for a system-by-system opinion of what will be big this year.

For the DS, everyone mentioned Ni no Kuni, with Bic's Shimoda saying that pre-orders are extremely high for a completely new title and Maya's Akitani saying that the game has captured the hearts of female customers. The 352 page magic book appears to be a big draw.

On the PSP, everyone of course mentioned Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. Maya's Akitani expects December 1, the day of MHP3rd's launch, to be the biggest day this year for software sales and a historic day for the game industry. Preorders are greater than anything she's seen before, and many are also pre-ordering the PSP system itself. Other titles mentioned by the responders included AKB1/48 and Shining Hearts.

For the consoles, the response depended on the shop.

For Wii, a popular response was Taiko Drum Master 3, as Taiko's last two installments were popular Christmas presents over the past two years. Sofmap's Kita mentioned Karaoke Joysound Wii Super DX, Maya's Akitani mentioned Donkey Kong Returns and Geo's Mitsui mentioned Kamen Rider Climax Heroe's Os.

On PlayStation 3, Bic's Shimoda expects Gundam Musou 3 to be big. Sofmap's Kita expects Tales of Graces F. Geo's Mitsui mentioned both. Messe Sanoh's Kon said Umineko no Naku Koro Ni is big amongst his buyers, as the adventure genre is big in Akihabara. (For a look at the kinds of games that sell at Messe Sanoh, see this story.)

(Note: Gran Turismo 5 is notably absent. It's possible that the retailers were considering the year end season to be strictly December. Famitsu's article did not mention any time periods.)

For Xbox 360, Virtual On Force was the most popular response. Geo's Mitsui selected Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.

So how do the retailer opinions match up with player opinions? A couple of issues back, Famitsu posted the results of a reader survey about what games players want most for the holiday season. Here's a system-by-system look with vote count in parenthesis:

Nintendo DS
Ni no kuni (129), Pokemon Black & White (108), Super Robot Taisen L (63)
PlayStation Portable
Monster Hunter Portable 3rd (316), The 3rd Birthday (72), Shining Hearts (48)
Super Mario Collection (144), Taiko Drum Master Wii 3 (75), Mario Sports Mix (57)
PlayStation 3
Gran Turismo 5 (177), Tales of Graces F (153), Gundam Musou 3 (84)
Xbox 360
Call of Duty Black Ops (108), Dance Evolution (99), Virtual On Force (76)

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