The March NPD results are in for the US - though they only reflect sales of new game copies at physical retail stores, they nevertheless give a sense of sales trends in one of the industry's most vital markets. There are notable positives for Nintendo, with two key Wii U results securing impressive top 10 places.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD performed particularly well, making its debut in 3rd place (all-format and single SKU), which is a solid result considering the relative userbase of the Wii U; as is often the case with first-party titles there's clearly been a high attach rate. Pokkén Tournament also had a good launch, securing 7th place all-format (matching the position Street Fighter V achieved with its US debut on PS4) and 4th in the single SKU stakes. Considering overall software sales were $425.8 million (8% up on March 2015) these are terrific placings for the Wii U titles.
- Tom Clancy's The Division (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- Far Cry: Primal (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U)
- Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3, PC)
- UFC 2 (PS4, Xbox One)
- MLB 16: The Show (PS4, PS3)
- Pokken Tournament (Wii U)
- NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PSe)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
- Minecraft (360, PS4, Xbox One, PS3)
Another area of note was accessories, generating $285.1 million in March, up 9% on the equivalent 2015 figures. Venturebeat points out that this includes interactive toy sales, singling out amiibo as a key factor.
There is a downside for Nintendo, though, with the portable market (3DS and Vita) being singled out as a troublespot; NPD analyst Liam Callahan has said the following:
Portable hardware sales had the highest dollar sales volume decline versus last March, followed closely by [current-generation] consoles. Seventh generation consoles had a steep percentage decline of 78 percent, though those sales now represent only 2 percent of the month's sales.
As is often the case Nintendo hasn't issued any statements, but there's sure to be satisfaction at the performance of its major Wii U releases in the last month. This month it's the turn of Star Fox Zero, and it'll be interesting to see how it - and Bravely Second: End Layer - perform in the next set of results.