[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]t was back in May when Nintendo announced a $456 Million loss for the fiscal year that ended March 2014. Nintendo was pointing the finger at the Wii U and its underwhelming sales. Fast forward half a year and Nintendo is talking about how they expect to have a record-breaking holiday season. How is that possible? Let’s take a look.
Thanks in big part to strong Mario Kart 8 sales- not to mention an amazing show at E3- the Wii U has now sold more than 7 million units. Since this time last year, console sales are up 100% in Japan, 175% in the United States and over 200% in Europe. “Following the release of this [Mario Kart 8] we also announced the Wii U lineup at E3 in June and people started to re-evaluate the Wii U platform,” said President and CEO Satoru Iwata.
Then came Super Smash Bros on the 3DS, which anyone with a 3DS (or 2DS) was excited for, albeit a little unsure on how the title would perform on the handheld. “Before the release, some in the video game industry were skeptical of the sales potential of ‘Super Smash Bros.’ for handheld devices,” said Iwata.
The success of Super Smash Bros for the 3DS even surprised Iwata. “The initial sales pace was faster than either Nintendo or anyone in the industry could expect. After a vast number of consumers started this game at one time and it spread by word-of-mouth, Nintendo 3DS has been used more actively, and we have noticed increased attention and enthusiasm in the entire market for the device. Considering that the software was released just before the year-end sales season with many anticipated titles scheduled, we believe it has really contributed to improving the momentum of the Nintendo 3DS market.”
Iwata went on to say that he believes that the impending launch of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire has bolstered sales for both Super Smash Bros and the 3DS console itself. ” Those who were elementary school students when Super Smash Bros. Melee and Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire were released have grown up and they are now 18 to 25 years old. Our research in each part of the world commonly indicates that consumers between the age of 18 and 25 represent a large percentage of those who purchased Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS in the release period. It is approximately 30 percent in Japan, which is twice the overall average of Nintendo 3DS software, and has even reached 50 percent in the U.S. and Europe. This great momentum for the game in the initial stage was supported by this generation.”
All of this success has come before the launch of both Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire and Super Smash Bros for the Wii U. At least for the time being, it seems Nintendo has turned it around.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire for the 3DS/2DS and Super Smash Bros for the Wii U will be available November 21.