Congratulations are due for Nintendo. Not only has Splatoon posted strong sales and an impressive start for the company’s newest IP, but Wii U sales are on top of the charts.
Better yet, they increased over last week. By 25%. Even while Splatoon’s weekly sales fell by one-half. The Wii U (21,169) even sold almost double the units of the Playstation 4 (11,763). If figures like these aren’t thrown around at Nintendo’s next earnings call, then color me surprised.
(Okay, not actually surprised. This is only two weeks’ of data.)
Kudos are also due to Gamesindustry.biz, which managed to present Media Create’s sales report with little spin or deceptive description of the data. I wrote a scathing critique previously about its framing of PS Vita and 3DS sales, but its writer did well this time.
While it’s still too early to tell, the current signs bode well for Nintendo. Splatoon has already accomplished something that Mario Kart 8 failed to do in its release last year: increase sales for 2 consecutive weeks. (Written out like that, however, it sounds more pathetic than celebratory.) While it should be noted that Super Smash Bros U also managed that feat, effectively tripling Wii U sales (38,000 in Smash’s 2nd week compared to 12,000 pre-release), that occurred during the peak of the holiday season in December, and all hardware sales rose significantly during that period.
Looking into the near future, Splatoon provides a welcome dose of good press for Nintendo as it marches into E3, forgoing a physical stage for a digital presentation as now seems to be the norm for it. Perhaps the encouraging signs of the Wii U’s commercial vitality will keep critics at bay, now that first-party releases seem able to generate ripple effects in hardware sales.
Then again, these are many of the same critics who bemoaned Nintendo’s refusal to become a third-party publisher and abandon its hardware. No sooner did Nintendo announce its partnership with DeNA than did Forbes, of all outlets, publish a critique of the move, noting (or perhaps only now noticing?) the cultural incompability between mobile monetization and Nintendo.