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Here's an Updated Summary of Nintendo's Software Bestsellers

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Pokémon and Mario lead the way

When Nintendo releases its updated financial reports, it also publishes fresh figures for hardware and software — we've covered the former in our main summary of the year-end results. The software highlights tell their own tale, however, and perhaps help to explain why Nintendo opts for particular franchises and brands over some others that dedicated fans may demand; the Kyoto-based company is concerned with generating profits, after all.

The updated bestseller numbers for Wii U and 3DS are interesting for various reasons. The home console's list includes a title that launched as DLC and then hit stores as a standalone disc, while the numbers for the initial bundled title demonstrate that, actually, plenty of consumers have opted for alternative hardware packages from the default Deluxe / Premium set. As for 3DS, its leading title is no surprise, though there are a few key releases edging towards the 10 million landmark.

The lists from Nintendo's investor site are below, including the Wii and DS equivalents to give a sense of the brands and franchises that served those successful systems so well. It's worth noting that the 3DS and Wii U lists include download sales, all figures count hardware bundle copies, and these figures are accurate as of 31st March 2014.

Wii U




So there you have it, with some trends to consider across the platforms. Let us know what you think.


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User Comments (60)



Shiryu said: will always be number 1 in my heart, "F-Zero". And "Starfox" at number 2.



AJWolfTill said:

Not sure why it always suprises me how well Luigi's mansion has done...
It does bother me how oversaturated the top tables are with Mario games... hopefully Nintendo won't overrely on the series is these troubled times.



Prof_Clayton said:

What is Wii Party U doing up there, I just, what? And they sold how many NSLU's? This is sad, when DLC outsells most games.



Jazzer94 said:

Pokemon xy has reached DS level sales excellent also Luigi's Mansion sales give me hope for future installments.



Peach64 said:

I would not be surprised to see more HD re-releases. Six months work and becomes the 6th best selling game on the console. Especially impressive when 4 of the 5 outsold it have all been bundled.



readyletsgo said:

Crazy seeing the software sales are still MEGA big for the Wii and DS.

Anyone remember that rumour that was going arond last year that Ninty were in the process of REMAKING N64 games for the Wii U? Anything more come of that? Who was it who said it?

I think they need to go back to the Gamecube and remake a lot of those games just like WWHD, that game looked beautiful. Very little work and I know most of us would buy them in a heart beat at €40 or €50 here, cause they are NEVER coming to the VC any time soon.

Just a pity about some games that have the pressure controls, but I'm sure they all could be worked around.

Or, just give me all 3 Metroid Prime games on the 3DS, please?



alLabouTandroiD said:

Statistics are fun, so here we go again.
If you go by the lifetime sales from the other article the attach rates of NSMBU, Nintendo Land, SM3DW and NSLU on the Wii U are all higher than the attach rate of Pokémon X & Y on the 3DS.
NSMBU's, Nintendo Land's and SM3DW's on the Wii U are higher than MKW's on the Wii.
Pokémon X & Y , MK7 and SM3DL on the 3DS have a higher attach rate than NSMB on the DS.

I could go on like this for ages.



Takerkaneanite6 said:

Super Mario 3D World Sold Almost As Many Copies As Nintendo Land,Even Though It Released One Year After, A Testament To The Quality Of The Game



PJR0cks said:

Nintendo needs to reinvent itself in the home console market with new games, the old franchises won't save Nintendo this time around, the only 2 who show hope are MK8 and smashbros. the rest are pretty much useless when it come to sales, Nintendo needs a new phenomena, they haven't had one for such long time, something to go viral like minecraft did and has helped boost 360 sales right at the end of it's life, something to get the attention of the masses, like Wii sports did for Wii, where you see it everywhere in YouTube, and all the social media's and gets people talking.



Guybrush20X6 said:

I think Nintendo might have better sales if they put a discount on some of their older titles on the eShop. What's the point of getting SF643D on the eShop when a physical one is bargain bin material these days?



Spoony_Tech said:

Let's just hope Mario Kart 8 hits 35 million one day!

The Wii U numbers are impressive when you think about the user base!



MoonKnight7 said:


This is mainly because of the bundle. Just like how Wii Sports was the best selling software last generation because it was a pack in with the Wii.



Ichiban said: people need to stop buying up the same crap and try something new! No wonder Nintendo has no 3rd party support!



Mahe said:

@Prof_Clayton Wii Party U is a good game, just not as good as the excellent Wii original. It was obviously rushed in some parts to prop up Wii U.

Super Luigi U is pretty great, not surprised it has sold that much despite also being available as DLC.



Mahe said:

@Peach64 Wind Waker HD was heavily bundled, marketed and featured, and it still could only sell that much. Many of the bundles were also discounted soon after launch, so people bought them to get a cheaper Wii U despite not specifically wanting Wind Waker HD.

It was a pretty big misstep from Nintendo, the bundles and promotions that Wind Waker HD got would have been more useful with other games.



larry_koopa said:

I know I may very well stand alone on this, but Super Mario 3D World is my favourite console Mario title since Super Mario 64.



Kirk said:


F-Zero is on of those amazing games/franchises Nintendo has in it's library that deserves far more love than it gets.



Shiryu said:

@Kirk And there are so many of us starving for a new game. Surely there is cash to be made from us, Ninty. Surely...



Darknyht said:

What that tells me is that Wonderful 101, Lego City: Undercover, PIkmin 3 and Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze have not sold as well as everyone had hoped. I also wish this gave numbers for things not Nintendo related.

Edit: Just looked over on VGChartz and here is the top 20 in sales according to them the only third party game in the top 10 is ZombiU which was a pack in game. And most of the games have an attach rate of less than 3% (anyone below the top 20), and even most bottom of the top 20 only have an attach rate of 7.5% (Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate with .49 million copies sold).



Mahe said:

@Darknyht Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was released just a month before the cutoff date for these results. The games here had several months to get these sales.

But yeah, the other titles flopped hard, especially W101.



GalacticMario28 said:

These numbers don't surprise me much. Also, I think the internet would cry if there were a New Super Mario Bros. 3, this coming from a fan of the NSMB games.



Darknyht said:

@Mahe @Diddy_kong Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze currently holds #10 on VGChartz. W101 is #26 with only .19 million sales. Pikmin 3 and Lego City Undercover are #6 and #7 with .76 and .75 million sales. So of the three only Wonderful 101 is a flop.

What is scary is that the attach rate of 3-7% for most games is not good for a console with only 6.17 million units out there. There are not many companies going to take a risk for that few sales. Even good games that have come to the system have done horribly.

Nintendo needs Mario Kart 8 to sell systems, and they need to resurrect other properties for nothing else than to offer genre variety on the system. Startropics, Golden Sun, Kid Icarus, Kirby, Custom Robo, Excite Racing, and other could be turned into downloadable titles like NES Remix at a lower cost while expanding the library with new genres. Then at the end of a season put three or four on a disc and retail it.



Lobster said:

@Darknyht Assuming MK8 is a system seller (keep your fingers crossed), there has to be some way to get people to go back and buy those 3-7% games like W101.



DanteSolablood said:

The only surprise for me on there is that Animal Crossing wasn't higher up, after all it's a massive brand with global appeal. Though it could simply be people got tired of waiting considering it was advertised well before the original 3DS launch.

@Darknyht You're right, the WiiU currently has such a small selection 'killer apps' that Nintendo need to really be pumping out some good quality games just to fill the shelves. The real issue though is that Nintendo need to find a way to get Third Party support back.



Darknyht said:

@DanteSolablood The console would need to hit a point where 3-7% attachment is able to offer a return on investment.

@Lobster You're assuming they can find them. I had to look all around a major metro and quite a few other cities to find a new copy (or any copy) of Deus Ex last month.



bebettergamerNL said:

More people need to buy A Link Between Worlds. The fact that it hasn't outsold Ocarina is a bit of a shame. We all know Ocarina is a classic game, but c'mon let's show some love to the new Zelda games that are great too.



2Sang said:

@LeasTwanteD That's because nsmbu and nintendo land were packaged games with the system. Compare them to wii sports, then we'll talk.



Kirk said:

With so little meaningful third party support, Nintendo should basically be putting out next-gen versions of every classic game/franchise in it's vast catalog of titles imo.



RoomB31 said:

Its great to see such a resurgence with Pokemon this gen, considering its at DS pokemon equivalent sales, but with 1/4-1/3 the install base. There's no doubt that X&Y will continue to sell very well this year, especially now with the announcement of the ruby/sapphire remakes coming.



shredmeister said:

Technically New Super Mario Brothers 2 is the third in the series if you count NSMB Wii. It may be a typo, but there is a bit of truth there.



Mahe said:

@Darknyht Don't trust VGChartz. Their figures are made up and aren't based on anything factual.

Regardless, you're right that the install base is a big problem for Wii U. Even if the games sell to some of the Wii U owners, that percentage is just too small with how slowly the Wii U has sold and keeps selling.



Obito_Sigma said:

Why does New Super Mario Bros. 3 give me the impression of a 10 / 10 game that will change the gaming market forever...? Wait, isn't it because- neh, I lost it...



mostro328 said:

Pikmin 3 , wonderful 101, really need to break that million mark, 3d world did not do for wiiu what 3d land did got 3ds



larry_koopa said:


You've obviously done your homework and you're absolutely right about that attach right being a huge issue for Nintendo. Mario Kart 8 is going to be wonderful, but I think that one title can only go so far. Hopefully the one-two punch of Mario Kart and Smash Bros. finally being on the market by the end of the year will help.

That GamePad is still the biggest problem for me. Nintendo's own games hardly use it, and if they can't be bothered to think of unique ideas than why should third-parties? Three stages requiring it in Mario 3D World and using it as a map display in Mario Kart aren't really selling points or even necessary. And who is going to want to play Smash Bros. with that controller? Regardless, part of the major appeal of Smash Bros. is playing with three of your buddies on the couch. Only one person can use the GamePad at a time... do you put in some GamePad specific stuff and leave the other three players at a dis-advantage? I certainly hope not. I know when I play it with my friends we'll all have Pro Controllers in our hands, just like we all played Brawl with GameCube pads.



bizcuthammer said:

New Super Mario Bros U and 2 selling more than games like Link Between Worlds, Luigi's Mansion 2, and Pikmin 3 should be considered a crime. It's no wonder Nintendo has been making safe sequels lately... Thats what people keep buying. NSMB is Nintendo's Call of Duty. Keep churning out the same, uninspired stuff, but gamers keep buying it in droves.



B3ND3R said:

Now multiply all the Console numbers by 60 and the handhelds by 40... LOADS O MONEH.



Gashole said:

@bebettergamerNL, keep in mind that A Link Between Worlds is only about 6 months old right now, while Ocarina of Time 3D had a major head start by about 2-and-a-half years. It'll catch up.

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