It's that time again, with November NPD results — which cover US physical retail sales — being released; they cover the vital Black Friday week sales, in particular. For Nintendo the focus was on major releases on both Wii U and 3DS, both of which performed rather well, while the Wii U enjoyed a week that was its best since launch in November 2012.
The software charts saw Super Smash Bros. for Wii U — along with sales of the 3DS version — secure third place behind some unsurprising big hitters; the Wii U version has sold 710,000 units to date in the US, while physical and download sales of the 3DS version have passed 1.5 million in the country. Pokémon Alpha Sapphire finished in fifth while Pokémon Omega Ruby was seventh, impressive results considering that they're single-platform releases and — essentially — two halves of almost the same game. Amazingly, these titles have already sold nearly 1.5 million copies (download and physical retail) in the US already.
Quite why Super Smash Bros. for Wii U isn't — like ORAS — treated separately is a mystery; there are arguably more differences between the brawlers than in Game Freak's latest titles. In any case, the top 10 below should be happy reading for Nintendo.
1.) Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (360, XBO, PS4, PS3, PC)
2.) Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
3.) Super Smash Bros. (NWU, 3DS)
4.) Madden NFL 15 (360, XBO, PS4, PS3)
5.) Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (3DS)
6.) Far Cry 4 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC)
7.) Pokemon Omega Ruby (3DS)
8.) NBA 2K15 (PS4, 360, XBO, PS3, PC)
9.) Assassin's Creed: Unity (PS4, XBO, PC)
10.) Halo: The Master Chief Collection (XBO)
Moving onto hardware, no numbers have been given by Nintendo for 3DS, with the press release choosing to emphasize that software on the portable is up 40% on the equivalent month in 2013. For Wii U there have been some figures, with Nintendo stating that "the week of Nov. 23 was the biggest single week of Wii U hardware sales since the system launched in November 2012". While November's Wii U software results were 90% higher than the equivalent period in 2013, the hardware increase was just 10%; though Nintendo's statement on the Wii U enjoying its best week since launch is undoubtedly correct, that increase suggests November unit sales of under a quarter of a million in the US, which isn't the huge number the company may have aspired to. That leaves some pressure on December sales to contribute more towards the company's global target for the year.
Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing, naturally struck a positive note in the company's official statement.
This is a ringing endorsement from families and fans that Nintendo has the best variety, the best value and the best gaming experiences for sale this holiday season. We’re extremely confident in our holiday proposition and look forward to closing this year strong and starting 2015 with a full head of steam.
As a final note, the following was said on amiibo sales.
Nov. 21 also saw the arrival of amiibo, Nintendo’s new platform where gaming’s most recognizable characters can be used in different ways in many compatible games. Sales of amiibo are approximately equal to sales of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U so far, while Link, Mario and Pikachu (in that order) have been the best-selling figures to date.
Overall, Nintendo had an excellent November in the software stakes, with the biggest releases on Wii U and 3DS competing with — and in some cases beating — a range of triple-A multi-platform blockbusters. On the hardware front, we have the positive of the Wii U enjoying a particularly strong week over Black Friday, but disappointment is reasonable in light of the modest increase over the equivalent sales from November 2013, leaving the system behind its Microsoft and Sony rivals over the full month.