Nintendo announced this month that according to independent sales data released by the NPD Group, the Wii console reached 2008 unit sales of 10.17 million, and the Nintendo DS came in a close second, with 2008 unit sales of 9.95 million. Each of them broke the previous yearly unit sales record set in 2007 by Nintendo DS with sales of 8.52 million and the Wii is the first gaming console to ever reach the 10 million mark in a single year.
Not surprisingly, the Wii represented 55% of all home console sales in 2008, while the DS claimed 72% of all portable system sales in 2008.
Here’s some additional data released by NPD for 2008:
•The industry’s top 4 selling games of 2008 were: Wii Play at No. 1, Mario Kart Wii at No. 2, , Wii Fit at No.3, and Super Smash Brothers Brawl, at No. 4
•Industry annual revenues jumped 19% in 2008 over 2007, and Nintendo products were responsible for 99% of those additional retail dollars.
•Nintendo DS set another industry record for system sales in any month, with 3.04 million units sold in December.
•Wii broke its own monthly record, set in December 2007, by selling 2.14 million units last month.
•In December, Nintendo titles filled 20 of the top 30 spots on the best-seller list. Six games made for Nintendo systems placed in the top 10, including Wii Music for Wii (No. 9), which has now sold 865,000 units following its launch in October 2008, and Mario Kart DS for the Nintendo DS (No. 7), which has sold a total of 4.3 million units 38 months after launch.
•Activision’s Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Guitar Hero World Tour, and MTV Games/EA’s* Rock Band Special Edition Bundle all sold more units on Nintendo platforms than any other platforms in 2008.
•More 3rd party units were sold for Wii than any other home consoles in December for the 2nd consecutive month.
•For the year, more than 132 million games were sold in America for play on Nintendo systems.
Recession? What recession?
Mike Smith over at Yahoo Games recently reported that Nintendo has filed for a patent that “hinges on making demonstration videos available to players while they’re playing the game, either as a thumbnail view or a full-screen animation. Players could interrupt the demonstration at any point, taking control back to continue playing without assistance. Think of it as a tutorial guide that lasts throughout the entire game.”
Wow. Real time cheat support without needing to leave the game. Gaming purists may argue this takes away the challenge of it all, but I think most gamers would be thrilled with a clue now and then.
Smith also reports that the patent application “also proposes to let players start playing at any point during a game — a feature that’s in many games already, but typically only unlocked once a player has already completed those levels. Just like skimming a newspaper article for the juicy bits, this would allow players to tackle games, in their entirety, at their own whim.”
Read the full article here.
The convergence of TV/computer/game console continues… Starting this Spring in Japan and then most likely reaching the rest of Wii owners by the end of 2009, Nintendo will be rolling out the Wii television channel, called “Wiinoma,” and begin a run at global living-room supremacy. Anyone with at Wii and an internet connection will be able to view Wiinoma, which will deliver Nintendo-produced, family-oriented fare such as cartoons, cooking, lifestyle and educational programming. Most of the content will initially be free, but Nintendo could easily make special pay-per-view programs, payable through the Wii point system.
I’ll be anxious to try out Wiinoma. The big question is - will people make the shift and start watching TV through the Wii? It has been reported that Japan TV execs are worried about the Wii potentially becoming the center of the living room, but the quality (and cost) of the initial programming will play a major part in influencing behavior change. Nintendo will only have one chance to get this right.
For additional details, click here.
Game tracking website vgchartz.com announced that for the week ending 27th December 2008, Wii Sports has now passed sales of Super Mario Bros (NES) at 40.24 million units, making it the best selling video game of all time. The game, bundled with the Wii (just like Super Mario Bros was with the NES in the 80s) in every country outside of Japan and South Korea, reached that milestone after just over 2 years (110 weeks) of sales. The new version, Wii Sports: Resort, which will be released later this year, will fuel continued demand, with some thinking that it could eventually reach the 100 million unit mark.
Here’s an amusing video from the UK on how to cheat while using Wii Fit.