News Article

Nintendo Highlights Positive February Sales in the U.S. of Bravely Default and Tropical Freeze

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Wii U hardware and software increase compared to February 2013

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.

[via neogaf.com, venturebeat.com]

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User Comments (63)

springNexxis

#2

springNexxis said:

Not surprised by Bravely Default. The advertising was surprisingly good and both editions sold out in my area in nearly every store that sold it.

Peach64

#4

Peach64 said:

That Bravely Default performance is FANTASTIC, and hope it leads to SE bringing Dragon Quest VII to the West this year. Donkey Kong performance is pretty good too (although I bet people won't slate the US chart when DK is outside the top ten like they did when it 'only' came 9th in the UK chart).

The battle between Xbone and PS4 is pretty interesting too. Xbone somehow got a huge bump (260k) over January (150k), and I can't really figure out why. There was not really stock shortages in January, so anyone that wanted one could have got one then. Titanfall is March, so why the big bump in February? At least it keeps things competitive I guess.

Kewlan

#6

Kewlan said:

Oh right, even when selling out, Bravely Default did super good!
I'm longing for Bravely Second!

Agent721

#7

Agent721 said:

And people thought donkey Kong would not help sales...I'm glad we were wrong! Overall, and yes the bar is set low, it's a nice trend up none the less.

AlbertoC

#8

AlbertoC said:

I really like Bravely Default, even with its insane difficulty and its bit of repetitiveness. I would welcome a sequel, more so if it's deeper than the original.

Peach64

#9

Peach64 said:

According to NPD's Liam Callahan, "February 2014 hardware sales increased by 42 percent over February 2013. Xbox One sold 258,000 units in the United States in February, putting the PlayStation 4 at 287,000 units. However, the good news wasn't confined to these new console: "The majority of hardware platforms experienced double-to-triple digit increases compared to January 2014."

Pretty much every platform got a boost in sales over last month. Why do we still get this doom and gloom about the market shrinking?

sugarshack

#10

sugarshack said:

I just finished Awakening. Damn good game. is it even possible to complete the first battle on " lunatic" without anyone dying? my goodness..

AJWolfTill

#13

AJWolfTill said:

Yess! Positive spin on sales news, just what we need to freshen up the Wii U's image! I'm amazed by how many people I have streetpassed who were playing Senran Kagura so maybe that will crop up next month (not that I particularly want it to).
If only Nintendo actually had anything being released in the next two months to capitalise on the situation.

Bliquid

#16

Bliquid said:

Look what happens when you release quality titles that people actually wanted.
Who knew?
I hope this tightens hopes and quickness of a Bravely Second western release.

MrGawain

#17

MrGawain said:

I would imagine that now everyone's cards are on he table, consumers are more willing to take the leap. I've heard a few stories of people getting a PS4 at launch, and now buying a Wii U to prop up the drought they have on the Sony machine.

In general I think there has been less gaming forum bashing of the Wii U in recent months, even if several gaming websites are determined to hang a leper bell around it's neck. Though I still think the sell to less fanatic gamers on all 3 consoles may still be an uphill battle.

WingedSnagret

#20

WingedSnagret said:

Good news at last!

But, at the risk of being "that guy," the Wii U still has another 3 month drought to endure...

Daisaku36

#21

Daisaku36 said:

Wii U sold well for Wii U. It probably won't continue selling even "okay" at around 100k per month until MK8 is out. Even then, I'm not counting on it. I love my Wii U, but I'm in the minority when I say I think it was worth every penny, apparently.

PrincessSugoi

#22

PrincessSugoi said:

Nice to get some results Nintendo can be a bit more confident about. DK may have not been the explosive Wii U savior some were hoping but it did it's job in selling some consoles and will likely continue to sell modestly but good overall. Makes me ever more curious about just how many units MK8 will manage to move and will any momentum caused be enough until Smash and Bayonetta hits.

Bravely Default did get a good campaign overseas but even then these numbers are very impressive. Crazy how hard it is to get a Square Enix title out of Japan with such potential. Oh and Pokemon sells. A lot. Nothing new to report there. :P

@Peach64

Thanks for sharing that. It's one thing for the newest consoles to be experiencing this but the overall hardware boosts paint a much more interesting picture. It might be a side effect of all the massive hype between the XBO/PS4 turning people's interests towards other platform options but... what was so special about February that it got all these people to buy gaming consoles? Valentine's day? :P

K-Gamer

#23

K-Gamer said:

Finally... some good news. DK is selling pretty well and moving hardware, don't know why people whined at its launch sales.

Mahe

#25

Mahe said:

Donkey Kong, the game that shuts down the Gamepad, did well in a non-holiday month. Now imagine if there had been a Gamepad-free console bundle of the game on sale.

T7L3R

#28

T7L3R said:

@Daisaku36 I bought the basic when it was $300 right before the price cut of the Deluxe and I still think it was worth every penny.

BlueStar101

#30

BlueStar101 said:

Positive sales, FOR A WII U GAME!?

…AWESOME!!

Super Mario Bros. 2 character select music plays to an animation of Mario and Zelda characters dancing Charlie Brown style, all of them having an unmoving, unchanging, non-blinking deep smiley face

real_gamer

#35

real_gamer said:

Good news but then the Wii U next big release is in May (aka MK8) which is bad because the Wii U doesn't really have big releases in March or April. I fear this little celebration is only for a little time.

Ic3pick039

#37

Ic3pick039 said:

They need to release some ds games that are intriguing in march and April. Or release their gba titles march or April.

boynerdrambling

#38

boynerdrambling said:

@ic3pick039 GBA games are already confirmed for april :)

Anyway, positive wii u news articles = 34 comments.
Bad wii u news articles = 300+ comments.
Theres something majorly wrong their.

JaxonH

#39

JaxonH said:

@Mahe

Gamepad free. Sure, for that game. But what happens when you beat it and move on to something else? ZombiU? No, can't play that. W101? No, can't play that either (unless you want a mini window on your TV). Rayman Legends? Nope, can't play that one either. Pikmin 3, negative. Nintendoland, negative. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate? Sure, but without voice chat (headphone jack is on, you guessed it, the gamepad). I could go on.
Point is, most Wii U games depend on the gamepad. Even if they're playable, they'd be slightly hampered to less enjoyable, sometimes even borderline dysfunctional.

And it's not just half the library being rendered unplayable. You also wouldn't be able to play any of the DS VC titles coming, you'd forfeit off-screen play, and no separate screen multiplayer in games like Sonic Transformed, Mario Kart 8, or Call of Duty. Pretty high price to pay for a hundred bucks off a console. And even then, I in no way see a newer home console selling for the same price as an older handheld, gamepad or no gamepad. More than likely, it'd just be $50 off the console. Because even without a gamepad, you'd still be getting much more tech for your dollar than a 3DS. And HD games (well, the ones you can still play anyways)

CaviarMeths

#40

CaviarMeths said:

Bravely Default is a great game and I'm beyond happy that an old-school JRPG had such success in NA, but to be fair here, the 3DS currently has a larger install base than all other Gen 8 systems combined, so there are more potential buyers for it than even the next-gen multiplats.

MAN1AC

#41

MAN1AC said:

Squeenix left money on the table by not publishing this in NA.
@Peach64
B/C the Wii U isnt selling well and this is a Nintendo-fan site.

TreonsRealm

#42

TreonsRealm said:

I'm quite happy with the Wii U (an excellent and underrated machine) despite the poison spit at it by click-bait articles which put it down. Overall, Nintendo has built some good momentum post holiday 2013 but they really need a super strong Nintendo Direct this month to show what they've really got up their sleeves for the machine. It's good to see their newfound focus on the indie market but they need to nail down a release schedule for the "anchor" titles that will move machines.

Hyrule Warriors, Yarn Yoshi, Bayonetta 2 (hopefully some news for a Bayonetta 1 port) and X all need some solid release dates to build hype. They need a couple "surprise" titles to keep momentum like a new StarFox title or reviving a long dormant IP with a fresh next gen take (like Kid Icarus Uprising did). I'm guessing that Super Smash Wii U/3DS will possibly get a release date (or window) at EVO since Nintendo is allowing Melee and has shown interest in the new game appearing in the tournament in the future. Personally, I think they should pull a surprise announcement for Mario Kart 8 and bump it up a month to the end of April. It would really build some buzz and Nintendo would earn some cred for pushing a date up for once. Just a thought.

Action51

#44

Action51 said:

@Peach64 not just Dragon Quest, but I hope they realize we are hungry for more solid JRPGs in the west.

With the success of Pokemon, Shin Megami Tensei, Etrian Odyssey, and now Fire Emblem and Bravely Default, it's like the JRPG is as popular as ever in North America and Europe.

Action51

#45

Action51 said:

@MrGawain - Yup, the Nintendoom cycle has it's ups and downs. Don't worry, the next negative thing or if Super Mario kart doesn't sell well they'll be back in full on force.

luke88

#48

luke88 said:

If only there was another blockbuster game coming before mario kart 8 to maintain momentum.

memoryman3

#49

memoryman3 said:

@luke88 Lego Da Hobbit.....

Compared to the rival consoles, Wii U still in the pits.

This shows that Nintendo's next console should be a $499 powerhouse on par with PS5 launching a year before to succeed (with extra third-party support and marketing!)

electrolite77

#50

electrolite77 said:

Great numbers for Bravely Default. I haven't played it yet but have heard but nothing but positive things and really pleased to see it do well.

As for DKC and the Wii U, well, not bad I suppose but while the software sales are good it hasn't really made an impact on hardware sales. It would have been interesting to see the impact of something that wasn't another platformer and reached out to a different audience, maybe even something new, but we'll never know.

luke88

#51

luke88 said:

@memoryman3 I'm not sure if it does show that at all, the last time Nintendo matched it's rivals in those areas was with the gamecube which sold only a fraction of what the ps2 sold. As I've said on here before I think Nintendo's problem is one of perception: whilst the things you suggest might help, Nintendo are perceived by the majority of those who- falsely in my opinion- identify themselves as hardcore gamers as making children's games and being 'uncool'. Taking chances on products like the wii and wii u, perhaps even this QOL stuff could be Nintendo's best chance of remaining relevant in a marketplace that is only becoming more saturated. I don't think more power, third parties and some marketing are ever going to win back the tens of millions who buy xbox ones and ps4's.

Frank90

#52

Frank90 said:

So now we know that Bravely Second is coming to the west!
I want another Collector's Edition!

Luffy

#54

Luffy said:

i was gonna get bravely default but the price is 59.99 where all other brand new 3DS games are 39.99. Its a price gouge. FU square!

8bitforever

#55

8bitforever said:

Looks like the tide is turning and this is small potatoes. Japanese sales show 3DS finally out of their top spot.

PS4 - 35,294 [410,133]
PS Vita - 31,325 [270,086]
3DS LL - 24,192 [375,541]
PS3 - 12,102 [151,339]
3DS - 10,876 [177,553]
Wii U - 7,773 [133,642]
PSP - 3,425 [44,999]
PS Vita TV - 1,962 [21,110]
Xbox 360 - 300 [2,769]

Agent721

#56

Agent721 said:

@Peach64
In January 2007, 2.0 million consoles were sold. In January 2014, 770,000 were sold. It is a giant drop off. The videogame market is expanding, but demand for new consoles is quite low, historically speaking. Your can also see the problems via the software closures & layoffs at major studios.

8bitforever

#61

8bitforever said:

@Melkac Understood, but the point I was making is that the field is changing in Japan and it will be interesting to see how Nintendo handles this since the PS4 isn't likely to drop in sales anytime soon.

Kitsune_Rei

#62

Kitsune_Rei said:

I was pleasantly surprised to see a number of ads on TV for Bravely Default, and I had many friends upset they were having a lot of trouble finding a physical copy in the area and had to turn to download.

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