Posts tagged #business

Sales for Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, Wii U, and amiibo

Nintendo reported today that Wii U sales were up 29 percent compared to 2013, and software increased 75 percent year-over-year. Sales in the US for Mario Kart 8 rang in at 1.7 million and Super Smash Bros sold 1.3 million copies. Nintendo's numbers include both physical and digital versions of the game.

Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America executive VP of Sales & Marketing, proclaimed 2014 as "Wii U's strongest year yet." It's a positive sign for a console that has had difficulty finding its footing amidst slow initial sales, and the superior processing power of Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, despite a near one year lead.

Nintendo also revealed that over 16 3DS releases have passed the 250,000 sales mark, and that three of those exceeded 1 million copies.

Amiibo sales were touted as "nearly twice the sales of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U", which would put it at roughly 2.5 million amiibo sold.

Posted on January 15, 2015 and filed under News.

Why is Nintendo only bringing the NEW 3DS XL model to the North American market?

UPDATE: article corrected to reflect that the New 3DS XL does not have coloured buttons like the Famicom, only coloured lettering on grey buttons

During today's Nintendo Direct, Reggie Fils-Aime came on camera to introduce the New 3DS XL hardware. And only the New 3DS XL.

Not the smaller size New 3DS, the one with interchangeable faceplates. Not the one with the coloured Famicom buttons.

Many were disappointed with this news, myself included. My reasons for wanting the smaller New 3DS are many, besides the faceplates, I just prefer the smaller size. It fits into my life better. I also am not a big fan of how jaggy everything looks on the larger 3DS XL screen, a byproduct of making the screen larger without increasing the pixel resolution.

What makes this decision more vexing is that Europe is getting both sizes. So that leaves North America as the odd market out, so to speak.

Nintendo of America's statement on the matter is typically guarded:

"Different territories make their own business decisions regarding individual products and timing. We think New Nintendo 3DS XL makes the most sense for our market. Nintendo makes different systems at different price points for a whole range of consumers, and New Nintendo 3DS XL simply expands those choices even further."

Uh, ok. That's not an explanation, it just says that you made the decision, but not why you made it. "Just because" isn't really an answer. I'm sure they have actual reasons, but until they divulge those secrets to us, we'll never really know.

Speculation time:

  • Nintendo has difficulty with shelf space at retail, and since the introduction of amiibo now they require even more. To introduce a whole line of faceplates to the mix simply exacerbates the problem.
  • Nintendo believes that North Americans only like big things, so bigger is better.
  • Nintendo feeling the sting from amiibo shortages and collectors buying up 'rare' characters wanted to avoid another situation where certain faceplates would become rare and unavailable.
  • Nintendo wants to make more money, so by only offering a higher priced XL model and no mid-priced regular size, they stand to bring in more revenue (although not necessarily more profit, unless we're assuming that the profit margin is higher on the XL)

These are just theories, I don't really know why there will only be the New 3DS XL in North America. All I know is that since I can't get a regular size one with the faceplate I was set on (the Monster Hunter Blue Stripes of the Poggie, if you must know) I will wait it out. Seeing as my current 3DS is a Fire Emblem Edition, perhaps I'll bide my time and see if there will be a Fire Emblem New 3DS XL.

A man can dream, can't he?

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let me know! And please hit the Like button if you like this post. Thanks!

via polygon

Posted on January 14, 2015 and filed under Article.

Launch weekend sales of Wii U in Japan come close to the Wii launch, but not quite

Nintendo's home launch of the Wii U was a sell out, with 308,570 units sold in Japan over the launch weekend of December 8, 2012. According to market research company Enterbrain, Inc., the number was lower than the two day sales number of the Wii, which managed to move 371,936 units back in 2006.

Nintendo spokesperson Yasuhiro Minagawa: "We believe it was a strong start. Just as the Wii sold out at many outlets on its debut, the Wii U is also out of stock at the retailers."

Still, it's impressive for Nintendo's sophomore Wii U effort. I wouldn't be so quick to call the Wii U a failure. Let's see what the numbers are in a few weeks, and after the holidays, because that will really tell the tale on how the Wii U is doing.

Source: Businessweek.

Posted on December 11, 2012 and filed under News.

10 reasons Wii U will succeed

This week Darksiders II developer Marvin Donald caused a bit of a stir with his comments about the Wii U's hardware. "So far the [Wii U] hardware's been on par with what we have in the current generations," said Donald in an interview with Game Reactor. Kotaku rightly pointed out that critical "so far" in his statement and it makes the whole thing a little less worrisome.
However, since everyone seems to be sounding the death knell for Wii U over it, I thought I'd give my stab at ten reasons why the Wii U will succeed, especially with gamer parents.

1) Backward compatibility

What's the joke about Wii owners? They don't buy games, they just play Wii Sports? Well if you're a gamer, you probably own at least a few titles, both for yourself and for your kids. Games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl, or Mario Kart. Or Zelda Skyward Sword. Or Xenoblade Chronicles. Or (cough) Monster Hunter Tri (cough). It will be nice that the Wii U will be able to play those games, preserving your investment in iconic Nintendo titles.
This feature becomes more of a selling point now that it looks like at least Sony's next Playstation console won't be able to play PS3 games at all.

2) Up-scaling of old games to HD

And now that you've got that big TV you always wanted, won't it be great to be able to play those games you already bought, upscaled to look nice on your big HDTV? Because the Wii U will be able to take the 480p resolution of the original Wii games and bring it up to 1080p.
Those of you familiar with upscaling might argue that just because it's 1080p doesn't mean the old games will look as nice as new Wii U games. Of course they won't. But they'll look better than they do now on your plasma or LCD TV.

3) "On par" hardware will mean on par price

Nintendo is launching the Wii U into a market that has the PS3 and 360 selling for $250 and $199, respectively. Prices may vary depending on the configuration and peripherals included. If the Wii U does indeed have hardware that is on par with its competitors, Nintendo can afford to introduce it at a price to match. I'm predicting $350, which will cover the premium of a 'new' console, with the tablet controller. A PS3 with Move controllers or a 360 with Kinect are about the same price, for now.
If Nintendo dramtically increased the hardware spec, the price would probably jump to over $400, and at that price it will be a tough sell.

4) Nintendo 1st party exclusive titles

When you have kids, there are few game characters that are more endearing than what Nintendo has to offer. My girls gravitate towards Yoshi and Peach, but I'm sure your kids have their favourites, as do mom and dad!
The power of Mario is undeniable as a brand, and Nintendo has a lock on him and his friends.
Throw in Link & Zelda, maybe Kirby or Pikmin, and perennial favourites like Mario Kart and Smash Bros. and the first party lineup of game franchises is strong and deep.

5) Third-party developer support

If Nintendo has had a weakness over the years, however, it's the lack of third party developers. That seems to be a thing of the past now, with several major developers stepping up and announcing they will release games for the Wii U. Nintendo has said nary a peep about their own games since the Wii U reveal, but other developers have been talking a lot about the Wii U recently, like Ubisoft with Assassin's Creed III, or Vigil with Darksiders II.
It's a sign that things are different with the Wii U this time around, and we can look forward to playing more than just Wii Sports at launch.

6) Strong launch lineup

Speaking of launch, have you seen the leaked list of potential launch titles? It's quite long, and if its true it could mean upwards of 25 or more games available for the Wii U at launch. That's extremely positive for the system, and speaks to how many third party games there are going to be on the system.

7) Two words: Skylanders Giants

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is HUGE right now. This is the game that marries collectible figurines with unlockable in game characters. When you place the figurines on the "Portal of Power" (a special hardware unit with a built in sensor) the same playable character is unlocked in game.
With the upcoming Skylanders Giants game in the works, the developer is looking at perhaps integrating the NFC capabilities of the Wii U tablet to use that as the sensor for recognizing the figurines. In any case, it's bound to be another huge success, if its anything like the surprise hit that Skylanders was.

8) One to two year window of opportunity

Both Sony and Microsoft have made noises indicating that they're not replacing the PS3 or 360 anytime soon. If the recent Sony Playstation "Orbis" rumours are to be believed, it will be holiday 2013, which would give Nintendo a year with the Wii U. If there are any unforseen delays, Nintendo will have even more time to penetrate the market.

9) Consumers looking to upgrade

Do you know how many Wii's Nintendo has shipped? Would you believe over 94 million units (as of the end of 2011)? If only 5 percent of existing Wii owners upgrade to the new model in the first year, that's 4.7 million units. That puts it square in the middle of the numbers as compared to the first year of the original Wii (5.84 million), the Xbox 360 (5 million), and the PS3 (3.61 million). Keep in mind these three consoles were all competing against each other, with all of them launching within 10 months of each other.

10) Streaming games to the new tablet controller

Gamer parents are going to find this to be an awesome feature, if it works as advertised. Say you're in the middle of playing Assassin's Creed III and the kids want to come in and watch Dinosaur Train or something. You can just continue playing while they watch their show. And you can hide the fact that you're murdering people while they watch cartoons... or something like that. So maybe you're not winning the parent of the year award for that one, but hey, it's pretty cool.

Summary

So there you have it, my ten reasons why gamer parents are going to love the Wii U, and why it will succeed. It will have to come in at the right price, and have strong launch titles, but I'm counting on great Nintendo franchise titles and third party triple-A titles to push the system forward.
And hey, if I'm wrong, at least we have the Xbox 720 and Playstation 4 to look forward to, right?
Posted on April 2, 2012 .