Wii U Console

We're now heading into the time of reckoning when we learn how Nintendo fared over the festive sales period, and there's a positive start courtesy of the December NPD results - these cover US physical retail sales. On a whole Nintendo is reporting a record month for Wii U, along with strong software sales across Wii U and 3DS, while amiibo has also shifted millions of units.

To start with the Wii U - our headline maker - Nintendo has announced that the home console had its best ever month of sales in the US during December; this does take into account both hardware and software, it's worth noting. Over the whole of 2014 Wii U hardware sales were 29% higher than the 2013 equivalents, while the software increase in the last 12 months was an impressive 75%. The Nintendo press release, meanwhile, provides key US sales figures for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Mario Kart 8, while it seems that around 2.5 million amiibo figures were sold.

Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U sold over 1.7 million physical and digital units and 1.3 million physical and digital units, respectively, in 2014.

Total sales of amiibo figures in 2014 are nearly twice the sales of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Moving onto 3DS, in December Nintendo states that the handheld had its best ever month in the US for first-party software sales; that's an impressive achievement, though no hardware numbers were given. The two big winners were Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (over two million physical and eShop sales in the US in a little over three months) and Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire with a hefty tally of over 2.6 million physical and eShop US sales in just six weeks. The following stats also show how the 3DS has dominated the dedicated gaming handheld space in the US, locking Vita games out from the top-selling portable titles.

In 2014, 16 Nintendo 3DS titles sold at least 250,000 units. Of those titles, eight sold more than 500,000 units and three sold over 1 million units.

In 2014, the top 15 best-selling hand-held titles were all released on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.

As for the overall picture in the US, Super Smash Bros. - both the Wii U and 3DS versions together - came 4th in the December software charts; Just Dance 2015's best sales came on the last-gen Wii, too.

  1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, PC)
  2. Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3)
  3. Madden NFL 15 (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)
  4. Super Smash Bros. (Wii U, 3DS)
  5. NBA 2K15 (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, PC)
  6. Minecraft (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)
  7. Far Cry 4 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
  8. Just Dance 2015 (Wii, Xbox 360, Wii U, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)
  9. Destiny (Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3)
  10. FIFA 15 (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Wii, 3DS, Vita)

The top 10 for the whole year also brought a highly respectable position for Smash Bros., claiming 6th place.

  1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, PC)
  2. Madden NFL 15 (Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, PS3)
  3. Destiny (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3)
  4. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  5. Minecraft (Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4)
  6. Super Smash Bros. (3DS, Wii U)
  7. NBA 2K15 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3, PC)
  8. Watch Dogs (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
  9. FIFA 15 (360, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Wii, 3DS, Vita)
  10. Call of Duty: Ghosts (360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, PC)

Overall, Nintendo appears to have had a strong December, at least in the context of its own targets. While the Wii U, for example, is still behind the sales figures of the Xbox One and PS4, Nintendo's priority is surely to simply make it viable and profitable so that'll it'll last a 'generation'; think of the GameCube's relatively low sales that, nevertheless, helped the company maintain profits. In that respect 2014 was a positive year for improving momentum in US sales, and also boosting the image and public perception of the system. As for the 3DS, Nintendo will no doubt hope to maintain its performance and perhaps increase its sales in 2015 with the upcoming arrival of the New Nintendo 3DS.

We'll have a full global picture when Nintendo releases its Q3 financial results and sales figures at the end of January. For now, though, let us know what you make of these US sales.

[source venturebeat.com]