News Article

3DS Tops NPD Hardware Sales for May

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Software results at lowest since May 2000

It's that time again, with the NPD results showing us how game software and hardware sold in the U.S. during May. The headline result, from a Nintendo perspective, is that the 3DS was the highest selling hardware system for the month; no firm number was given, so it's only known that it was more than the 114,000 units that Microsoft has confirmed for Xbox 360 sales.

There was also good news on the software front for 3DS, with Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D coming in third place and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon performing well once again in fifth place. Those software numbers are against a negative overall result, with software apparently down a whopping 44% over the previous month, and painful drops also affecting hardware and accessories.

Nintendo, meanwhile, has given no firm figures and has made no mention of Wii U in a brief press release, focusing instead on the 3DS' success. It should also be noted that the prominence of these results may be coming into further question, especially in terms of software, as they only account for physical retail sales. Respected industry website Gamasutra has announced that it'll no longer cover NPD results, as the organisation is unable to accurately report download sales. The argument is that reports of a deteriorating games industry that come from NPD figures aren't giving the full picture, as downloads undergo growth and positive performance. This is also becoming increasingly relevant for Nintendo, with eShop sales of titles such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf expected to be vitally important.

The absence of solid hardware figures means that we know the 3DS had the best month, but it's unclear where Wii U sales stood, beyond analyst predictions. Sales of Nintendo's latest console could be a couple of months away from significant signs of improvement, in any case, as major releases such as Pikmin 3 gradually get closer.

This month was all about the 3DS, however, seizing the hardware crown and boasting two top ten games in a chart packed with multi-platform releases.

[via gamesindustry.biz]

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User Comments (28)

XFsWorld

#2

XFsWorld said:

Great games[or game] will come every month after Pikmin 3 release, so expecting to see Wii U sales increase.

OMEGA48

#4

OMEGA48 said:

Both 3DS and Wii U started off rough, The 3DS is doing quite well and so will the Wii U. Stop with all the hate.

Gioku

#5

Gioku said:

I'd like to see download sales figures. And maybe some real numbers. But good for 3DS! It's really hit its stride, and it's showing no signs of stopping!

Haxonberik

#7

Haxonberik said:

Well I hope people really play Pikmin 3. I'm not sure if I want anothet sequel since I dont think I can wait again that much, but DLC (something substantial lime a whole new area) would be nice. Anyway, the fact that Olimar appeared int Brawl, the New play control re-releases and the fact that pikmin are pretty prominent Nintendo icons right now makes me feel this game will sell the best in the series.

Haxonberik

#9

Haxonberik said:

@slapshot Agreed. In fact, I kinda felt something special about it since the moment I turned it on that gave me confidence in the 3DS when everyone was spelling doom on it. I would like to be able to say I've felt the same with the Wii U...

JeanOfmArc

#10

JeanOfmArc said:

@Slapshot I can agree to that; the output so far has been excellent. But I agree with WiiAllDay that GBA support would have been perfect... at least until they start releasing GBA games on the virtual console.

Zodiak13

#11

Zodiak13 said:

I am not worried either way for WiiU. If it really is a disaster, Nintendo will decide to make changes or get out of the console market. I wish Nintendo realized that they can support both the niche market/Nintendo Loyalists and popular gaming. I will be the 1st to admit I don't care about graphical power and ram stuff but lots of people do. You can still make fun unique games for everyone along with the more common popular game archtypes out there (GTA, FPS, and AC style games). But if they plug along and just make it a niche system I'm fine with that too. As long as they keep making great games.

RR529

#13

RR529 said:

Glad to hear! Also, if everything goes right, I should be adding to the overall amount of DKCR3D copies sold soon :)

ricklongo

#14

ricklongo said:

The 3DS is still on fire. To think industry analysts considered it all but doomed a couple years back, heh. One can only wonder what will happen when the big Pokemon bomb drops on october.

Let's hope the Wii U's fortunes can eventually turn in a similar fashion.

NintendoPro64

#15

NintendoPro64 said:

Way to go Donkey Kong! See? THIS is why Retro Studios is making a new DKC game instead of Metroid at the moment. ;)

MakeMyBiscuit

#17

MakeMyBiscuit said:

I guarantee they would sell more 3DS XLs in NA if they released it in black. I know I would buy one. I have big hands and the regular 3DS is just not comfortable to play. I actually use the Circle Pad Pro not for the second Circle Pad but because it make the 3DS more comfortable to use. As of now I have zero interest in the colors currently available for the 3DS XL in NA :(

Peach64

#20

Peach64 said:

Neogaf (who pretty much always get these right) have 3DS and 360 both around 114k, PS3 on 84k and Wii U on 34k.

I wouldn't panic too much about May. Who buys a new console in May with E3 just around the corner? I hope the 3DS really takes off now. I know Nintendo keep insisting that going on worldwide figures it's ahead of the DS in sales, but Japan is skewing that big time. I don't know anyone else personally that has one. It would be nice in a year or two if we could actually get regular Street Pass hits because there's so many of them out there.

Peach64

#21

Peach64 said:

Untitled

I think there's two main reasons for this. 1, the Gamecube was far better advertised. 2, the main one, is that N64 owners were gamers, so they were eager to move onto the next console. With the Wii, Nintendo so badly wanted those non-gamers, and they got them, but now those people don't have the mindset of upgrading to the 'next console'. The worrying bit for me is Nintendo still seems pretty focused on getting those non-gamers to upgrade, instead of focusing on the people that have been with them all along. I can see why they'd take the risk, it's a huge market if you can pull it off, but I feel like the Nintendo I knew growing up is gone.

capitalism

#22

capitalism said:

@peach64

That data is January through May, you forgot to include November and December when Wii U was matching Wii's launch numbers. It's always good to list all the facts when making an argument. ;)

Anyways, I thought Pachter and all these other so called professionals said the 3ds was doomed and mobile was taking over? You know the same people who are predicting Wii U's doom now. Lol its always fun to see Nintendo prove these idiots wrong.

Peach64

#23

Peach64 said:

@capitalism it's not my chart. The launch numbers sure make everything look okay, but do you think Nintendo feel that way? Do you think they're not bothered about the lowest monthly sales since the Saturn because they had a good launch? The monthly sales matter because they don't get to experience that launch period spike again.

And people just want to get a dig in at Pachter, but pretty sure he said right from the start the 3DS was going to be a success.

Blue-Thunder

#24

Blue-Thunder said:

@Peach64 That's an interesting chart. I can remember when gamecube launched and it wasn't advertised really well. In the window of I think it was Game it was all PS2 & Xbox with the Gamecube getting a tiny bit of space in the corner.
I agree with all you say about Nintendo's approach, it has changed and for the worst. Even their games have changed and its all about the casual gamer, but the casual gamer doesn't give a toss.
What is happening with Wii U hopefully night make the company wake up and start catering for gamers.
Nintendo changed from the old Nintendo when Satoru Iwara took over. Nintendo's former president was far better.

PinkSpider

#25

PinkSpider said:

I've pretty much downloaded my last 5 3ds games so if lots of people are doing that it would account for poor retail sales
I myself prefer digital these days

Doma

#26

Doma said:

@Peach64 #21 Nailed it with that last sentence. The Nintendo you knew is indeed dead. The focus on casuals/kids is an absolute foremost now, and it's been that way for a long while. I can't see that ever changing unless their failure is enough to entice a major shift in management (kinda why i hope the WiiU does tbh, i'm not buying it).

The casual obsession is a corrupting influence. It gets to the point that even when they do produce that one rare title which heeds to the gamer crowd, its new selling point will be a casual mode or added functions conceived to rip away any form of challenge. Has been a big reason for why the majority of first-party games don't appeal to me much anymore and why i moved on to other systems.

That argument the fanboys give is “the games are fun, nothing else matters”, they don't seem to mind playing the same rehashes constantly. But that fun is generally mindless and can be achieved by playing one of the many, better games in their past catalogue. I wish more people would just say no to rehashes, maybe Nintendo would get the picture then... haha.

hydeks

#27

hydeks said:

I believe a lot of people can't afford video games, they are a luxury item :P And I know a lot of friends who don't play video games anymore because they lack any kind of originality now-a-days :P

bubby444

#28

bubby444 said:

its only a matter of time for wii u.once the next gen (xbox one,ps4) comes out and the older systems are no longer supported the wii u will most likely sell more than ps4 and xbox one. because wii u will be the cheapest and have the most games and in my opinion it also has the best games.

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