It goes without saying that Nintendo is preparing for a big year in 2012. With the release of the Wii U, and the aftermath of a 3DS price drop, looming over the horizon, the house that Mario built thought they would take a look back at some of their sales numbers to reflect on what has worked and what, surprisingly didn’t.
Revealed as part of some yearly reports are which first-party Wii titles, so far, have been the best sellers, and which of the mega-popular Pokémon series’ iterations have moved the most units. While Pokémon selling well isn’t a surprise, which Wii titles failed to beat the more casual fare is a bit surprising.
It’s no surprise that the Wii, with its casual inclinations, would move more copies of titles like Wii Play, Wii Sports, and Wii Fit, but the fact that hardcore, very much Nintendo, titles like Super Mario Galaxy and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess fail to hold a torch to those casual games is pretty shocking.
Unfortunately it was only Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii that even represented the traditional Nintendo properties on the sales report and challenged these juggernaut casual games.. Titles like Wii Sports and Wii Play nearly doubled the numbers of Super Mario Galaxy and Mario Party 8, approachable games in their own right. It’s somewhat disheartening that the more iconic Nintendo titles couldn’t top the charts, but perhaps the Wii U will correct that.
Here’s your Nintendo first-party sales list:
1. Wii Sports (2006) 76.76 Million Units Sold
2. Wii Play (2007) 28.02 Million Units Sold
3. Wii Sports Resort (2009) 27.68 Million Units Sold
4. Mario Kart Wii (2008) 27 Million Units Sold
5. Wii Fit (2008) 22.67 Million Units Sold
6. Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009) 21.94 Million Units Sold
7. Wii Fit Plus (2009) 18.49 Million Units Sold
8. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008) 10.27 Million Units Sold
9. Super Mario Galaxy (2007) 9.31 Million Units Sold
10. Mario Party 8 (2007) 8.22 Million Units Sold
11. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010) 6.36 Million Units Sold
12. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006) 5.82 Million Units Sold
On the Pokémon side of things, taking the top spot for all of the pocket monster titles are the Diamond/Pearl iterations – which, to date, have best captured the magic of those first Red/Blue Gameboy titles. Most surprising is the fact that the recently released Black and White iterations have already out grossed the sales (during their release year) of the Platinum and HeartGold/SoulSilver versions.
We knew that Black and White were extremely popular – even record-breaking in fact – but clearly the overhaul of collectible Pokémon did well to reinvigorate that popularity.
Here’s how the sales broke down:
Pokémon Diamond/Pearl (2007) 17.57 Million
Pokémon Platinum (2009) 7.43 Million
Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver (2010) 11.90 Million
Pokémon Black/White (2011) 11.51 Million
Yes, Nintendo might not have hit big with their iconic franchises, but nonetheless they made a killing with their more casual fare. Sales of titles like Wii Fit and Wii Sports helped increase the appeal of video games, but they also might have stifled the focus placed on titles placed on titles like Mario or Zelda. Still, it’s hard to argue against some really tremendous sales numbers.
Are you surprised to see Wii titles like Super Mario Galaxy and Twilight Princess didn’t sell nearly as well as the more casual fare? Do you think after the Wii U releases that Nintendo will put more focus on these franchises?