Nintendo Is Dying? Nintendo 3DS, Wii U Conquer Japan In 2013

By William Usher 11 months ago discussion comments
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Nintendo is being pelted left and right in the media at the moment, trapped in a cove of lambastment like those 200 bottlenose dolphins about to get slaughtered in Taiji. However, outside of the ridiculous sniper shots being taken by the major news circuits, Nintendo actually cleaned up with both software and hardware sales.

The sales data comes courtesy of Famitsu via Nintendo Enthusiast, where they rolled out a chart for the top 10 best selling games of 2013 in Japan. Guess who dominated the chart from start to finish save for one game? Nintendo.

The Wii U was up on the charts alongside the 3DS for majority of it, and you can see where Pokemon X/Y leads the pack.

1: Pokemon X / Y – 3,976.829
2: Monster Hunter 4 – 3,923,312
3: Animal Crossing: New Leaf – 1,730,182
4: Friend Collection: New Life – 1,580,067
5: Dragon Quest VII Remake – 1,227,377
6: Puzzles and Dragons Z – 1,005,697
7: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – 982,737
8: Grand Theft Auto V – 605,882
9: New Super Mario Bros. U – 584,479 (including bundles)
10: Wii Party U – 518,776 (including bundles)

The numbers are very telling, especially considering that if you look anywhere else on the net you'll see nothing but “Nintendo is dying” and “Fire Iwata!” from the pundits, analysts, console warriors and armchair mercenaries. Yet clearly Nintendo has a stranglehold on their homeland.

Nevertheless, it should be made known that conquering Japan is just a small piece of the puzzle, and it's also very important to take into consideration how much the sales account for Nintendo's success/failure in the EMEA and American markets.

While the Wii U isn't single-handedly taking the Japanese market by storm, it's at least showing a good position against established brands such as Grand Theft Auto V, which – keep in mind – is a multiplatform title (not that the Xbox 360 was really going to move a lot of units in Japan anyway).

The Wii U may not have been finding a lot of love in the software department on the chart like George Clooney seems to find younger girlfriends, but it did at least make two spots out of 10. That's also not to mention that while going up against the likes of the Xbox 360, PS3, the original Wii and PS Vita, none of the other systems managed to get an exclusive on the chart at all.

Take also into consideration that The Last of Us – the PS3 exclusive from Naughty Dog – was picked by many Japanese to be the game of the year, as noted by Gamasutra. Despite the industry-wide laud, Sony's first-party exclusive still wasn't capable of topping the charts against Nintendo.

Even in the hardware department, the Nintendo 3DS still came out on top with 4,931,509 SKUs (or stock keeping units) moved throughout 2013 in Japan, with the Wii U moving 880,088 SKUs. The PS Vita did fairly impressive with 1,197,980 SKUs and that was followed by the PS3 at 824,167. The Xbox 360 managed to move 19,548 SKUs in Japan, throughout 2013.

The Wii U's dire first two quarters of 2013 will need to be rectified with a good sell-through of all of 2014. Despite all the doom and gloom talk, Nintendo is still in a great market position and they're still leading the market share value as far as the eighth generation goes with the Wii U.

(Main image courtesy of AFP)
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