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Persona 3 and 4 are SMT games and are two easier games to start with since they aren't as hardcore as say a SMT: Nocturne or SMT: Devil Summoner 2. You'll get quite the gist of how a SMT game works with P3 and P4 at an easier rate as opposed to starting with others.
I don't see why it wouldn't be. Although I like to recommend Devil Survivor Overclocked for newbies. It gives new players an idea what megaten is all about. P3/P4 don't really represent the themes all that well. You can say they are the black sheeps.