There was a time when Square Enix's Final Fantasy series was the definitive Japanese RPG experience, though following several disapointing entries (Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIV), it seems as though gamers are starting to lose faith in the company, something which is definitely reflected by the abyssmal first week sales numbers for Final Fantasy XIII-2.
Though the big budget release easily took the top Japanese sales spot last week, the patry 500,000+ copies sold are a record low for the franchise. It's unheard of for a Final Fantasy game to not sell at least a million copies in the first week, and given that the original Final Fantasy XIII sold an incredible 1,516,532 copies upon debut, seeing the sequel dip to a third of that number tells us that many fans were not impressed with the game's notoriously linear predecessor. It might be supposed that the game suffers by nature of being a direct sequel, though Final Fantasy X-2 sold 1,472,914 copies in its first week despite being little more than a cute Charlie's Angels-esque sidestory.
Meanwhile, many Japanese gamers have noted that Namco Bandai's Tales of Xillia actually posted better first week sales numbers than Final Fantasy XIII-2, and are hailing the series as the new king of JRPGs. Though no localization of ToX has been announced, you have to wonder if Namco Bandai will capitalize on a market where Square Enix is failing. For now, we'll just have to wait and see.
Sales numbers courtesy of Sankaku Complex (NSFW)