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.
Last week the highly anticipated Club Nintendo of America officially launched. Nintendo gamers can sign up by visiting Club.Nintendo.com. After joining, members can register select Nintendo hardware and Nintendo-published games in exchange for Nintendo Coins, which can then be redeemed for limited-edition Nintendo rewards available only to Club Nintendo members. Some of the exclusive rewards include the Game & Watch™ Collection for the Nintendo DS™ and a set of traditional Hanafuda cards printed with Nintendo characters. Members must earn coins by registering their games and completing a corresponding survey. The amount of coins earned by games varies by game type: Wii (50 coins), DS (30 coins), WiiWare (10 coins), and Virtual Console (10 coins). In addition, the Wii Fit can be registered and earn members 80 coins.
There are also three ways to increase the Club Nintendo coin total. First, members can let Nintendo know of their “intention to buy” a particular game. After buying the game and completing a survey, members will earn ten extra coins. Next, an additional ten coins can be earned by purchasing a game and completing a survey within the first four weeks of its launch…a little Nintendo incentive to buy early and buy often ;-). Finally, members can earn an another ten coins by participating in a “post play survey” that is available shortly after the game launches.
Nintendo has stated that games released during December 2008 or later can be registered, but you can only register select titles that were released prior to December. Unredeemed coins expire two years from issue if unused. Reports from early participants say that the system is slow due to high traffic and a few bugs have been identified, so you may want to wait a few days before trying to register.
With the holiday shopping season nearing, I was curious to see just how many Wii games were planned for release between now and the end of the year. Any guesses? Well, if you guessed around 140, you’d be pretty darn close. Don’t get too excited, though… in that mix are games like ActiVision’s “Kitty Luv” where you groom and take care of your kitten and a few dozen other “Are you serious?” titles. I’ll pull together the entire list for a future post.
There is one, however, that shines through and I expect it will be high demand item for this holiday season:
Quickly becoming known as “the game you can play with your butt”, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party ingeniously incorporates the Wii Fit board into a game that will become a “must have” for parties. From the early reviews of the pre-release version, it looks like it will set the bar for other games incorporating the Wii Fit board.
The Rabbids have taken over almost every channel you can imagine, from music to movies – even TV ads! Help the Rabbids destroy all our daily viewing and drive Rayman crazy.
In Story Mode, play through a week of television, with each day bringing new wacky challenges of skill and insane movements in a compilation of mini-games. With up to eight players in turn-based mode and four players simultaneously, get ready for you and all your friends to go insane!
Unique use of the Wii Balance Board™. Play loads of exciting new games with the new Wii Balance Board and experience the first game in the world that you can play with your rear end!
New wacky games. 65+ brand-new games that spoof popular culture, from TV series to TV classics, not to mention insane ads!
All-new party mode. Play co-op or battle your friends simultaneously with up to four players, or go crazy with up to eight players in party mode! You can even sabotage your friends while they are playing!
Unique use of the Wii Remote™. Discover new and innovative ways to play with eight types of gameplay, including shaking, precision, dexterity and balance.
Shake that Rabbid. Use the Wii Remote and Wii Balance Board to dance and wiggle your booty.
Customize your bunny. Pimp your bunny out, take his photo and send it to your friends online.
Release Date: November 11, 2008. What timing! You can gorge yourself at Thanksgiving and then squirm away those extra calories.
You know, I love me some Raving Rabbid games. Both of the Wii mini-game style Rabbids games have been extremely fun and one of your best bets when it comes to party games on the Wii. Still, I think I love the series of commercials that have accompanied each game even more. Case in point: this recently released ad featuring a Rabbid encountering the Wii Fitness Board. Crazy rabbit! Wii Fitness is for kids…and adults…and the entire family…and possibly your neighbors…maybe your dog. OK, lets face it; if Nintendo had its way everyone would be using the Wii Fit Board.
Even more exciting than the fact that there is a new Rabbid commercial is the way the ad hints at a third Raving Rabbids game that will use the Wii Fit Board. My biggest worry about the board was that no other developers were going to use it for their products, but here comes Ubisoft hinting that they may be designing a whole new set of hilarious Rabbid mini-games around the thing. Hooray! Here’s hoping the ad isn’t just a tease and we’ll all be stomping, balancing, and doing push ups with rabbids in no time.