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Pirenko says

Well I agree with almost everything that was said and I decided to give it a try and see how hard it is to create those recent popular files lists. Using the envato API and 2 hours of my weekend I was able to generate those infamous lists. I didn’t generate them based on the days that have passed, but on the number of files that were released.
I was able to generate the top 30 for the latest 300, 200 and 100 files. Here’s the result:
Top 300
Top 200
Top 100
They are pretty different from the popular files list here on Themeforest and would really be a great help for the new themes lack of exposure.

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VF says

Think different way, but little painful though for a serious Envato author:

ThemeForest is over saturated to the point that new items have no guarantee of exposure; you guys are actually gambling with hardwork. I guess after 18 – 24 months, individual shops will kill TF (and Envato) for having such poor commitment on balancing the exposure for qualified new items. There is no category/section/search that distinguishes items that supports latest devices Vs ancient ones.

In the past, individual shops may not be successful due to the existence of giants like Envato. But in short time, I believe the inefficiency of marketplace and its consequence of unstable popularity of items will encourage more authors to jump out. I mean the marketplace item exposure may go to the point just less than what individual shops gain.

A sophisticated search filter itself can solve many things. For example, filter by release time (within less than 3 months, 6 Months, 1 year, All time etc). This itself can do the same job of popular new items in a broader way.

But it looks like TF is no longer Envato’s interest and just moved towards freelancing venture. There is less chance for brain investment in the marketplaces – it wasn’t happen for the recent 18-24 months tough, that’s another story.