Waiting For The Japanese Blockbusters, By The Numbers

The next Pokemon games will be released in the U.S. six months after they go on sale in Japan. Nintendo's still not doing simultaneous worldwide Pokemon releases. Let's see how trans-Pacific delays affect other games.

These are some of the biggest Japanese games from the past year that were set for Japanese and U.S. release...


Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver
: Released in Japan in September 2009; in the U.S. in March 2010. 6 month wait for Americans

Final Fantasy XIII: Released in Japan in December 2009; in the U.S. in March 2010. 3 month wait for Americans

Dragon Quest IX
: Released in Japan in July 2009; in the U.S. in July 2010. 12 month wait for Americans

Super Mario Galaxy 2: Released in Japan May 2010; in the U.S. in May 2010. 0 month wait for Americans (came out in the U.S. a few days earlier)

Notice above that all the script-heavy games had long trans-Pacific waits. Mario did not. Let's try some slightly lower profile games....

Resonance of Fate
: Released in Japan in January in January 2010; in the U.S. in March 2010. 2 month wait for Americans

Yakuza 3: Released in Japan in February 2009; in the U.S. in March 2010. 13 month wait for Americans

Lost Planet 2: Released in Japan in May 2010; in the U.S. in May 2010 . 0 month wait for Americans (came out in the U.S. a few days earlier)

Super Street Fighter IV: Released in Japan in April 2010; in the U.S. in April 2010. 0 month wait for Americans

Ace Attorney Investigations: Released in Japan in May 2009; in the U.S. in February 2010. 9 month wait for Americans.

White Knight Chronicles: Released in Japan in December 2008; in the U.S. in February 2010. 14 month wait for Americans.

That batch of games also shows the script-heavy games taking the slowest path to U.S. release.

But then there's this one:

Nier: Released in Japan in April 2010; in the U.S. in April 2010. 0 month wait for Americans.

A ha! Nier had a lot of story. But a nearly-simultaneous U.S. and Japanese release. Let us all celebrate this exception as we wonder... why can't other big Japanese games with lots of story get this treatment?

BONUS!
For Pokemon fans, here is the gap between Japan and U.S. Pokemon releases, courtesy of our brand-new intern, Aulistar Mark. (click the chart to enlarge)

Waiting For The Japanese Blockbusters, By The Numbers