analysis

Nintendo’s Best-Selling Wii U And 3DS Titles As Of September 30, 2015

by Mike Futter on Oct 28, 2015 at 04:48 AM

Nintendo has once again updated its best-selling games on Wii U and 3DS. With new entrants on the systems, including Super Mario Maker and Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer, the list is shaken up a bit.

We’ve included all the relevant information, including change in sales and placement on the top-selling list. We’ve also recalculated attach rate based on new software and hardware sales numbers. When last we reported, figures were based on sales as of March 31, 2015.

Here’s where things stand on Wii U, of which 10.73 million units have been shipped:

  1. Mario Kart 8 (Last ranking: 1)
    • 5.87 million (+440,000)
    • 54.7 percent attach (+.5 percent)
  2. Nintendo Land (Last ranking: 2)
    • 5.00 million (+180,000)
    • 46.5 percent attach (-2.3 percent)
  3. New Super Mario Bros. U (Last ranking: 3)
    • 4.88 million (+40,000)
    • 45.5 percent attach (-1.6 percent)
  4. Super Mario 3D World (Last ranking: 4)
    • 4.47 million (+170,000)
    • 42.9 percent attach (-.1 percent)
  5. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Last ranking: 5)
    • 4.03 million (+200,000)
    • 37.6 percent attach (-.7 percent)
  6. Splatoon (New Entry)
    • 2.42 million
    • 22.6 percent
  7. New Super Luigi U (Last ranking: 6)
    • 2.27 million (+10,000)
    • 21.2 percent (-1.4 percent)
  8. Super Mario Maker (New Entry)
    • 1.88 million
    • 17.5 percent
  9. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Last ranking: 7)
    • 1.62 million (+50,000)
    • 15.1 percent attach (-.6 percent)
  10. Wii Party U (Lass ranking: 8)
    • 1.58 million (+10,000)
    • 14.7 percent (-1 percent)

The best-selling Wii U games all have impressive attach rates, with the top half of the list absolutely monstrous. The fact that Mario Kart 8 attach rates are still growing as the Wii U picks up a bit of steam is a testament to how powerful this franchise is each and every time Nintendo releases an entry. 

As install base grows, we expect attach rates to decrease, and there’s nothing alarming about slight slides across the rest of the list. What is notable however is the impressive early strike from both Super Mario Maker and the inky surprise that is Splatoon. Wii U owners are hungry for new games, and Splatoon's success indicates an install base willing to take a chance on new things in the absence of mindshare competition from third-party titles.

As more big games arrive, I expect that Wind Waker will fall off the top 10 list entirely. This isn’t commentary on its quality, but it’s a remake. As for Wii Party U, I won’t be surprised if Yoshi’s Woolly World knocks it from the list now that the game is out in North America.

3DS software sales have been updated, as well. 54.34 million units have been sold as of September 30, 2015.

  1. Pokémon X & Y (Last ranking: 1)
    • 14.15 million (+160,000)
    • 26 percent attach (-.4 percent)
  2. Mario Kart 7 (Last ranking: 2)
    • 12.19 million (+270,000)
    • 22.4 percent attach (-.1 percent)
  3. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (Last ranking: 3)
    • 10.69 million (+420,000)
    • 19.7 percent attach (+.3 percent)
  4. Super Mario 3D Land (Last ranking: 4)
    • 10.21 million (+110,000)
    • 18.8 percent (-.2 percent)
  5. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (Last Ranking: 5)
    • 9.47 million (+170,000)
    • 17.4 percent (+.1 percent)
  6. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Last Ranking: 6)
    • 9.44 million (+270,000)
    • 17.4 percent (+.1 percent)
  7. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS (Last Ranking: 7)
    • 7.37 million (+330,000)
    • 13.6 percent (+.3 percent)
  8. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (Last Ranking: 8)
    • 4.61 million (+70,000)
    • 8.5 percent (-.1 percent)
  9. Tomodachi Life (Last Ranking: 9)
    • 4.48 million (+180,000)
    • 8.2 percent (+.1 percent)
  10. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Last Ranking: 10)
    • 3.82 million (+50,000)
    • 7 percent (-.1 percent)

The 3DS rankings are locked in place from last time Nintendo reported sales figures. But while placements haven’t juggled, we’re seeing increased attach rates in half the entries. 

There is never a surprise when side-scrolling Mario platformers, Mario Kart, and Smash do well. Animal Crossing also is in the public eye again thanks to Happy Home Designer, which is off to a big start with 2.02 million copies shipped (not to mention the add-on packs of cards).

While these big titles continue to grow, we must look at the hardware side. Nintendo has an ambitious sales goal for the 3DS this year. As of now, the company has shipped 2.28 million at the half-year mark against a target of 7.6 million. 

While the holiday might treat the system well, it’s software that seems to be shining right now. Nintendo hasn’t revised its full-year predictions, and a solid holiday could get the company much closer. 

Without some stronger bundling and price incentives, it might get overshadowed as Sony and Microsoft blitz retail with its own holiday packages. Provided the 3DS can weather the storm against Apple and other mobile-device manufacturers, there isn’t perfectly direct competition in the handheld gaming space. No, the Vita does not count.

As we mentioned in our look at Nintendo’s half-year financial report, things are looking up. While the Wii U isn’t flying off shelves, sales are up over last year (with the potential to make the 3.6 million unit shipment goal). 

Unfortunately, a thinner holiday season without The Legend of Zelda or Star Fox hurts. The company hasn’t yet gone big with bundles either, and time is running out. The Wii U might not be top dog this holiday, but it needs to be part of the conversation for new buyers and not just those looking for new software.