In recent weeks there hasn't been much to tell about the UK game charts from a Nintendo perspective, with the usual suspects maintaining familiar positions, from 3DS games such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf hanging around near the top 20 to Super Mario 3D World residing in the lower-reaches of the top 40. This week's results, despite no notable new releases, bring disappointing news.
Unfortunately you need to go outside the top 30 in the all-format charts — the individual format results make worse reading — to find the first Nintendo-system exclusives, at which stage the standard names appear. First up is Pokémon X in 31st position, with Y following close behind in 32nd place. Rounding out Nintendo's presence we then have Animal Crossing: New Leaf in 35th position and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds in 36th, with all four of these titles dropping below last week's results. There's no Wii U presence this week, with Super Mario 3D World dropping out of the reckoning.
As mentioned before, the absence of big-hitting new releases points to a loss of sales momentum as opposed to being pushed down by new software, while other factors such as price reductions and multi-platform releases are also considerations. It paints a worrying picture for the current sales of Nintendo software in the UK, regardless.
Satoru Iwata typically provides a shareholder briefing for quarterly results that break down sales per region, so we'll have a greater understanding of how Nintendo's games and hardware are performing elsewhere; limited data can be interpreted as positive or negative for the U.S. — depending on individual perspective — while recent results in Japan are promising. The UK has been highlighted as an issue in the past, so we'll see whether it gets picked out as a concern at the end of January.