Nintendo back to tearing up the sales charts

There has been much said about the launch of the 3DS, not the least by me, and most of it negative.  I still maintain that the device launched in a 3-part process.  They brought out the console, then brought out the eShop/firmware, then they slashed the price and brought out the first-party games everyone was waiting for.  In my opinion, the true launch of the 3DS was the new price point.  So, with the release of New Super Mario 3D Land and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, has Nintendo gotten back to the sales ways of old?  Well, it looks like they’re back on the winning track at least.

The new Nintendo 3DS game, Super Mario 3D Land, which landed in stores Nov. 11, has become the fastest-selling portable Mario game in company history, selling more than 500,000 units since launch, says Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime.

Meanwhile, the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, released for the Nintendo Wii on Sunday, Nov. 20, has sold 535,000 copies since its U.S. launch, making it the fastest-selling Zelda game ever, he says.

These strong new releases also drove sales of Nintendo 3DS and Wii systems, Fils-Aime says. Last week’s 3DS sales tripled (by 325%) compared with sales the week of Nov. 6, the week before Super Mario 3D Land made its debut; the week of its debut, sales rose 49% from the previous week.

“What this has been able to do is drive our Nintendo 3DS business in only eight months to surpass the full first year volume of the original DS and we still have the bulk of the holiday to go,” Fils-Aime says, “and we still have the launch of Mario Kart 7 (out Dec. 4) to continue driving our full-year sales on Nintendo 3DS.”

Thanks to USA Today for the chat with Reggie.  Now to look at these numbers a little more closely.  Try and rewind your brain to the launch of the DS those many fortnights ago.  On release the best title it had was Super Mario 64 DS, itself a Nintendo 64 re-release. (Hello StarFox and Ocarina of Time!)  The dual screens was panned as a gimmicky and useless feature, and it didn’t exactly tear up the sales charts initially.  It slowly gained momentum, Nintendo put out great games to show people how to use the screens, they redesigned it into the DS lite (Which is really what it should’ve been since launch) and it took off.

So what does that mean for the 3DS beating sales of the DS in the first year?  I have no friggin idea. You can draw all kinds of conclusions, but ultimately they mean nothing until people vote with their wallets.  They’re starting to vote Nintendo convincingly again, which means that, surprise!, Nintendo isn’t actually dead in the water.


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Author: Micah View all posts by
Micah has been playing games since his first pong machine, and has been writing for as long as he could grip a pencil and not drool on the paper. So, for about a week.

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