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Iwata's "Most Important" Wii Title of Last Christmas is Surprising

Posted by James Newton

He likes to move it, move it

Nintendo's financial results are always a treasure trove of information – it's how we found out about Pandora's Tower and Kirby on Wii, for example – but while you may come for the announcements, you'll stay for President Iwata's opinions on the period gone by.

Looking back at last Christmas, Iwata highlighted one title as being the most important game released on Wii during the holiday period. Considering heavyweight platformer Donkey Kong Country Returns and family-friendly Wii Party both launched you'd expect Nintendo's first party titles to receive the praise, but Iwata singles out Ubisoft's Just Dance 2 for its superlative performance.

The Wii software which I feel played the most important role in the last year-end sales season was not a title published by Nintendo. Here is Ubisoft's "JUST DANCE" series which I introduced at the Financial Result Briefing last May. This is software where users dance in front of the TV while holding a Wii Remote.

When you put it like that, it's no surprise the game has topped 2 million sales in just three months.

Ubisoft, Nintendo's President doffs his hat – and potentially even shakes his booty – to your hard work.

[via nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (32)

SuperMarioFan96

#7

SuperMarioFan96 said:

@Atomic Wii Man Because the game is fantastic and such a blast to play. Just because it's not an incredibly deep experience with a 50 hour story mode doesn't mean it can't be fun. There's a reason this series wasn't just a one and done in terms of sales, the way most other shovelware games on the Wii were.

ejamer

#9

ejamer said:

Oh come on. Leave the kiddie hate at the door and try to look past your own biases for just a second.

Just Dance is popular because most people like to dance. Even if the controls aren't perfectly accurate, that doesn't detract from the enjoyment and laughter created by moving to some music.

This isn't luck in my opinion - it's a smart choice based on market research. The music genre is dying quickly, exercise games are old hat... but dancing? That's the hotness for casual gaming. DDR has been popular for ages, but these new games make the genre more casual-friendly by using full body movement and less precision.

Interestingly enough, the WiiWare game Helix was ahead of it's time in this regard. You should check out the NL review, if you haven't already.
http://wiiware.nintendolife.com/games/wiiware/helix

Crunc

#11

Crunc said:

I can't say why it's so popular with certainty, but having played it at a friends house with their kids, I think it's popular because it isn't a game, so much, and instead is just what the title says: just dancing. Myself, though, I'm too much of a DDR and game person to be able to tolerate the inaccurate reading of the Wii remote. Why didn't they make JD2 use Wii Motion Plus to read it more accurately? Well, I think that's because there was no point: the large number of people who like this game don't really care that it isn't reading accurately, and probably even like that. It's a complete non-factor for them.

thanos316

#12

thanos316 said:

well i guess everyone like to dance. hey what ever works right, you can't hate on a person for liking a certain genre. not everyone wants to gun down boat loads of enemies or go on epic adventures. keep making quality fun different games. someones bound to play them..

pinta_vodki

#13

pinta_vodki said:

That's perfectly just, the game is awesome. Some of us have friends who don't know if Mario eating a flower is gonnna be good or bad. They just want to have fun, and Just Dance is even more pick-up-and-play than Wii Sports.

Token_Girl

#14

Token_Girl said:

All of the fun at parties as Guitar Hero with no expensive controller add ons, no learning curve in how to use the controller, and the bonus of watching your friends all make fools of themselves. I haven't played the Wii version, but I've played Dance Central on Kinect, and these types of games are TONS of fun at parties. No surprises here.

cyrus_zuo

#15

cyrus_zuo said:

Just Dance is unique.
It isn't just doing something in rhythm, it's learning how to actually dance!

DDR is fun, we have the dance pads, but for MOST people it ends up with players simply trying to press the right direction at the right time. It isn't really dancing.

Just Dance shows actual dance moves, which even if you are getting wrong you are dancing. It teaches you dance moves while you play the different songs and is a lot of fun to play in groups. The Wii Remote does a pretty horrible job of accuracy on said moves, but the key is that the Wii Remote changed it from a game about pressing buttons with your feet to one of moving with your body. Congrats to the designers they did a fantastic job!

lex0plex

#16

lex0plex said:

@Token Girl
haha so funny watching people try and dance :P especially when they're drunk and falling over. Agreed it makes one of the best party games out there!

Doma

#17

Doma said:

It seriously disturbs me to see this being labelled as 'most important'. There's SO MUCH of this crap littering the shelves already, such news will only spawn even more of it... I think it's really unfair to the developers of actual good games. Their stuff get close to ignored by retailers. I was just inside HMV and i couldn't even see DKCR, but THIS was up high on shelf right next to Mario. WTH.

Without Ubisoft, the world would be a better place. They will always continue use/exploit their audience. I bet the next JD game has already been announced, very sad indeed.

rjejr

#18

rjejr said:

It amazes me that week in and week out JD2 continues to be in the top 5 in Europe. My wife owns it, and I get it, but Top 5? Every week? Amazing.

What I never see mentioned is development cost. Does this game cost anything to make other than licensing fees? Might be why Iwata is so high on it compared to Link and Mario games which take years and $ to make.

armoredghor

#19

armoredghor said:

@DOMA play it and give it an honest effort to enjoy it before you bash it. It is a really fun game and this is coming from I guy who has played through a lot of first person shooters and adventure games.
@3 I play both.

Ristar42

#22

Ristar42 said:

I still have Dancing Stage Mario Mix (Mario DDR) for the GC. He throws some pretty weird shapes in that game...

Sean_Aaron

#24

Sean_Aaron said:

I'm still strongly considering picking these up. I like the idea of a dancing game, but not using a dance mat and having to do button-pressing with my feet. Could be a good evening aerobic workout to complement my morning Wii Fit/freeweight session!

danschemen

#25

danschemen said:

ya just dance is actually very fun games! i didn't think i would like it at first and even though it was stupid. but it's not!!! it's AWESOME!

Twilight_Crow

#27

Twilight_Crow said:

Funny thing, over here the JD games are rare, haven't seen them on any big retailer, and no wii owner I know cares about them, including me, but I don't dance, so... yeah Most Important Game over there?... well wii is mostly for casuals so, it makes sence.

IanUniacke

#28

IanUniacke said:

To the qq'ers maybe Just Dance isn't as innacurate as you can't dance??? I wouldn't say it's perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it does a pretty good job of detecting if you are doing the moves correctly.

What makes this game important is Ubisoft's approach. They didn't look at the wii and insult its audience...in fact quite the opposite. Compare Just Dance to EA's Boogie. EA decided that the wiimote was no good so they made a waggle fest mini game and called it a dance game. What Ubisoft did was to say "ok we all know the wiimote is not 100% accurate, but lets make the game we want to make and let the user's decide if the accuracy is an issue" Clearly it is not. Just Dance is the next Wii Sports no doubt about it. It has the same approach in almost all facets.

PSICOffee

#29

PSICOffee said:

This is funny because Ubisoft generally sucks. At least they published No More Heroes and Red Steel 2 though.

ModestMrGreen

#30

ModestMrGreen said:

I really love Just Dance 2. Definitely one of the best Wii purchases I've made. At first I thought it was crazily inaccurate...then I realized I just sucked at the dances. :B

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