It's that time again, with the NPD results — which cover physical retail sales in the U.S. — for February starting to emerge. Nintendo has, in a surprising twist on previous months, been quick to jump into the fray with its results, no doubt due to the fact it could report positive increases across both the Wii U and 3DS.
To begin with the Wii U, Nintendo has stated that Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze "sold more than 130,000 combined physical and digital units in its first eight days on the market". That launch helped Wii U hardware sales to increase by 25% compared to February 2013; unofficial estimates place the actual sales at between 80,000 to 100,000 hardware units. Those aren't formal, but it's pleasing to know of a 25% hardware increase of the equivalent last year, albeit while acknowledging that those 2013 sales were low.
As for the 3DS there was some notable software success. Square Enix — and Nintendo with its heavy promotion — will no doubt be delighted that Bravely Default sold more than 200,000 physical and download units in the month since it launched on the 7th, with Nintendo observing that its sales improved on the launch of Fire Emblem: Awakening — released last year — by more than 10%. There were more good numbers for Pokémon X & Y, too, with both iterations shifting over 130,000 retail and download sales between them — the lifetime sales for those titles are now more than 3.4 million units in the U.S.
As for software chart results, Bravely Default snuck into the final spot in the all-format top 10, an excellent outcome in a chart largely occupied by multi-platform titles. One win for the Wii U in the all-format stakes was with The LEGO Movie Videogame, which was second overall. Of the highest selling platforms for the title 3DS was third behind Xbox 360 and PS3, but the Wii U took fourth spot ahead of Xbox One and PS4. Nintendo has also stated that in a chart of best selling SKUs — single platform — Bravely Default is as high as number 2, with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze a thoroughly respectable number 4.
The Bravely Default result is undoubtedly the triumph of February from a Nintendo exclusive software perspective; the Tropical Freeze and Wii U numbers are still modest, but accounting for just eight days on the market for the game and a year-on-year increase for the hardware, Nintendo will at least be content to see momentum going the right way — even if the desired volume of sales is yet to come.