We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.
WiiU

Super Mario 3D World Suffers Low Sales in Japan

by Zack Kaplan - November 27, 2013, 11:03 pm PST
Total comments: 29 Source: 4Gamer, NeoGAF, http://www.4gamer.net/games/117/G011794/2013112706..., http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=91495...

Super Mario 3D World has the lowest first week sales of any 3D Mario game. 

Super Mario 3D World debuted second in Japanese sales charts with 99,588 units sold.

Bested by Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 14, which managed to sell over 250k copies, Super Mario 3D World's sales were quite low compared to other Mario games. Its sales placed it as the lowest debut of any 3D Mario game in Japan, below Super Mario 64 DS. In comparison, the best debut was Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii with over 330k games purchased.

The Wii U was the third best selling system the past week at 21,002 units sold, below the 3DS at 63,709 and the Sony PlayStation Vita at 21,044 (42 units more than the Wii U).

Talkback

EnnerNovember 28, 2013

Doom!


I don't know what I expected for 3D World's first week in Japan. Well, I  hoped it would clear 100k and sell a lot of Wii Us.


With this and PS4 not releasing in Japan until February of 2014, there is even more proof that home consoles aren't Japan's jam en masse anymore.

Eliseo104November 28, 2013

Let me remind you that even tho Galaxy 2 had the highest opening, it only sold 1,032,853 total in Japan soo..

Isn't this more a problem with the low install base of Wii U than an indictment on Super Mario 3D World?


If only so many people own a Wii U, then there's not many people to buy the game in the first place.

Well, considering that the Wii U has only sold through about one million units in Japan, 100,000 units for a game isn't that bad. Am I wrong?

KhushrenadaNovember 28, 2013

What have been the sales for NSMBWU? That might be slightly more comparable than a Final Fantasy game on another console.

Tween20November 28, 2013

Does this include digital sales?  If not, does this number have much relevance at all?

Ian SaneNovember 28, 2013

The install base would restrict things but then isn't Super Mario 3D World supposed to increase Wii U sales?  If the game is a system seller than it doesn't get restricted by the install base.  Mario just isn't moving Wii Us in Japan and if NSMB U wasn't going to I don't see why this Mario game was going to.

But Japan does not care for consoles anymore in general.  The North American sales figures are more important.

Quote from: Tween20

Does this include digital sales?  If not, does this number have much relevance at all?

That's also a good point.  Although I'd assume digital is a small percentage of overall sales, it's still a hidden revenue stream.

KhushrenadaNovember 28, 2013

The only reason this Mario might have been more received then NSMBWU that I can think of is that 3D Land had massive first week sales when released and did very well. Thus, a much larger and grander follow-up to a game that had a lot of demand should expect big numbers also and move more units. I do think that 3D Land helped push more systems in Japan but as everyone notes, that's because handhelds are the systems that seem to be what sell there.

Although, I've said it before it and I'll say it again. As far as I'm concerned, the DS was the best system of the last generation. If I had to choose between a Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, DS, or PSP, DS would be an easy choice for me. Likewise, with the way the current generation is going, rigt now the 3DS would be my number 1 choice for the system to own but it is of course quite early in this generation. It could just be the Japanese are smart and realize that this is the case and that is why the DS and now 3DS are doing so well there.

AdrockNovember 28, 2013

3DS is fast approaching SNES levels of awesome for me. There have been a lot of really strong releases and it's less than three years old.

It's a bummer that Super Mario 3D World isn't performing better. The game is very good, better even than 3D Land.

Ian SaneNovember 28, 2013

Quote from: Khushrenada

The only reason this Mario might have been more received then NSMBWU that I can think of is that 3D Land had massive first week sales when released and did very well. Thus, a much larger and grander follow-up to a game that had a lot of demand should expect big numbers also and move more units. I do think that 3D Land helped push more systems in Japan but as everyone notes, that's because handhelds are the systems that seem to be what sell there.

I see an alternate consumer point of view.  Since the Super Mario 3D Land experience is already available on the 3DS one doesn't NEED a Wii U to experience it.  It's like how the 3DS also has its own NSMB title so the absolute need to buy a console for another NSMB title isn't there.  Why do I need a console to do what my handheld already does?  Nintendo is clearly thinking that if a game is successful on the handheld it will also be successful on the console but since the handheld is what the market really wants it makes the console unessential.  In the past the console was what people wanted to own and the selling point for a handheld was "play your games on the go".  Now the handheld is what people want and the Wii U is saying "play your games stuck in your house".  Uh, what?

And it isn't like Nintendo is offering much yet that really benefits from the console experience.  While Nintendo isn't so enthusiastic about a more complex take on Mario like Super Mario Galaxy, that is a game that wouldn't work as well on a handheld as it would on a console.  And Wii Sports, the big system selling hit of last gen, is IMPOSSIBLE on a handheld.  But Super Mario 3D World?  Yeah, I know it can be done on a handheld because it already was.  While streamlining and simplifying a game for broader appeal will in theory attract more sales it also decreases the need for the more advanced hardware that consoles provide.  Hell, Nintendo just spent the last several years training their customers to accept Gamecube level visuals, which is now available on a handheld.  So the Wii U is like the same thing but not portable.  Oh, but it has beefier hardware!  Yeah but that doesn't matter.  You said so yourself, Nintendo.

KhushrenadaNovember 28, 2013

Perhaps. I get why you could take that view. But I think Nintedo has done plenty to highlight the differences between console and handheld games. There will probably be some posters who will jump in to point out 3D World couldn't be done on a handheld. But I will just point out that 3D Land is clearly a single player experience and you are just playing through a grouping of Mario levels. 3D World has 4 player simultaneous action as well as actual world maps for exploring and finding secrets along with new modes like Captain Toad. Likewise, each NSMB has had different hooks to differentiate the gameplay from one another.

I would counter that if Nintendo thinks what is successful on a handheld will be successful on a console then we would have seen or be hearing about a real Pokemon game coming to a console. They still keep a lot of things seperated between the two but there are some franchises that will crossover between the two.

I would also counter that Nintendo hasn't exactly been making a big deal about HD graphics. They've mentioned as a factor in slowing their gaming production but usually when announceing and promoting games, I can't think of them talking up how amazing the graphics are. They are still focusing and talking about the gameplay because they still view that as the most important factor.

That was part of the reason why they went the way they did on the Wii route. Trying to keep games from getting too complex for new users to jump in by having simpler controls. With iPhone and iPad gaming taking off and the success of the DS, touchpad gaming has become a major gameplay option. So, if you want to argue that having a touchscreen doesn't make the Wii U stand out as much as motion controls made the Wii stand out, then you might have a better argument. Personally, because of the success of the DS and 3DS, I still have high hopes that including a touchscreen with the Wii U will result in a high caliber of games and a building on the foundations laid by the handheld systems use of it. While there may not have been a large quantity of games released so far, of the small number out so far, I'd say there are definitely some good quality options showing this potential is there.

CericNovember 28, 2013

I will counter all those arguments with the statement that 3D Mario is not something the Japanese audience wants.  They want 2D Mario.  3D Mario is what the West wants.

Mop it upNovember 28, 2013

It's a decent number considering the install base (close to 10% bought it), but it didn't really spur Wii U sales and that's a problem.

10% of the install base is a really good launch regardless of what or when. Especially with the aforementioned point of Japan being far more into 2D Mario.

Kytim89November 28, 2013

Any chance Nintendo announces a Gamepad revision that looks more like a handheld? Something that looks like a cross between the Vita and the Gamepad to be sold initially in Japan, and then every where else? The issue with this is that people still can not take it out of their house, but their Japanese audience might notice it more if the did? Are tablets popular in Japan?

I don't think there's any kind of glaring flaw with the current GamePad that would prompt them to revise it anytime soon, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if we saw one at one point. My ideal change would be an increased wireless range.

mephistopholezNovember 28, 2013

Wind Waker did not sell that good in Japan, despite being a Killer App. 3D world now isnt taking Japan by storm, despite being a Killer App too.

Somehow very few care for Wii U.

If Mario Kart 8 fails to draw people to buy a Wii U I boldly predict the Wii U is done. (which means it will probably sell Game Cube numbers over its lifespan) though I would like to ask : Did the original Wii have that many great games more than the Game Cube got ?

Maybe all those people interested in the Nintendo experience are buying a 3DS and are picking up some of the crazy good and varied games it has to offer. I for my part do. Just a few more days and I will have Bravely Default to complete my 3DS collection. Then lets wait what 2014 will bring. Pretty stoked to see first infos of the Persona/Fire Emblem crossover....

I don't think you can really call any remake a killer app. And as has been established (although it may not have been in this thread), Super Mario 3D World sold to 10% of the Japanese user base, which is pretty good on it's own for one week, and especially since Japan's not usually a big fan of 3D Mario.

I'll agree that Nintendo doesn't really have a big title to appeal to Japan through the end of this year, which I think is pretty odd considering how Japan-focused Nintendo is. In the West, though, I think Nintendo's in fairly good shape for the immediate future, so there's that.

Luigi DudeNovember 28, 2013

Well we should know in a week from now how well 3D World did in North America.  Nintendo always releases some statement during the first week of December saying how well their big titles and systems sold on Black Friday.  Since the 3DS has Pokemon and the much cheaper 2DS, we know Nintendo will have a good Black Friday thanks to that.

So if their statement only mentions the 3DS, then we'll know 3D World and the Wii U did poorly on Black Friday and the system is looking to have a bad holiday season.  If they give numbers for 3D World and the Wii U, then they both had a good Black Friday and the Wii U should have a good holiday season in North America at least.

So yeah, that's going to be the big news for next week.

Nintendo has no stock trouble like PS4 and Xbox, they're cheaper than them, and they have a much better game library. If they can find a way to get it so people who don't read this site know that they could have a pretty solid holiday season.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 28, 2013

A full-price remake of a 3D Zelda - a Japanese "killer app"?  Zelda has hardly been lighting up the sales charts in Japan for awhile now, Japan seems to be more 2D-centric when it comes to Nintendo games *and* it was full price.  Can't speak for Japan, but you could seriously buy a used GameCube and a copy of Wind Waker for it cheaper here.

Three strikes against it already.

Fatty The HuttNovember 29, 2013

Quote from: Luigi

Well we should know in a week from now how well 3D World did in North America.  Nintendo always releases some statement during the first week of December saying how well their big titles and systems sold on Black Friday.  Since the 3DS has Pokemon and the much cheaper 2DS, we know Nintendo will have a good Black Friday thanks to that.

So if their statement only mentions the 3DS, then we'll know 3D World and the Wii U did poorly on Black Friday and the system is looking to have a bad holiday season.  If they give numbers for 3D World and the Wii U, then they both had a good Black Friday and the Wii U should have a good holiday season in North America at least.

So yeah, that's going to be the big news for next week.

And if Iwata sees his shadow there'll be six more weeks of winter.

Ian SaneNovember 29, 2013

Quote from: Ceric

I will counter all those arguments with the statement that 3D Mario is not something the Japanese audience wants.  They want 2D Mario.  3D Mario is what the West wants.

I assume that the fixed camera 3D of 3D Land/World is to cater to those that only play 2D Mario.  The assumption is that the Super Mario 64 template is too complicated and confusing to attract as wide of an audience as the NSMB games so they streamlined 3D Mario with more direct sequential level design and a fixed camera.

How did Super Mario 3D Land sell in Japan?  If it underperformed there then we can say that Japan doesn't really want any sort of 3D Mario.

smallsharkbigbiteNovember 29, 2013

Why can't the assumption be that 2D Mario is awesome, 3D Mario is awesome, so a hybrid Mario would be awesome.  I'm sure we could argue whether 3D Mario is more complex, but platforming is platforming.  No Mario has ever been as complex as 80% of the games released now-a-days. 


Plus, I don't know what you are looking for anymore.  They release a hybrid Mario that many people love and gets almost all 9-10 reviews and you say they dumb it down.  If they'd have released a direct sequel to M64 you would say they've ran out of ideas and just release the same old crap you played years ago.  What would make you happy?  A gory FPS like everyone else comes out with?  If you know someone with a Wii U try the game before you dismiss it. 


M64 was amazing and worth all the 10's it got for the time it was released and I'm sure Nintendo will go back to that style at some point.  3D World impresses me with the way it changes up the level design and really keeps things interesting.  I think the cat suit is the best powerup since the cape.  They can do alot with the fixed camera perspective.  Sometimes a level is more like M64 and other times it is more like NSMB.  They put alot of work into this title.  The fixed perspective leads to better platforming than M64 and allows them to hide items better in my opinion.  I like this title.  They might make 1 more or they might move on but I'm glad they made this.  And I'm glad I've bought a Wii U even if it doesn't get all the games the other consoles get. 

MagicCow64November 30, 2013

Quote from: smallsharkbigbite

Why can't the assumption be that 2D Mario is awesome, 3D Mario is awesome, so a hybrid Mario would be awesome.  I'm sure we could argue whether 3D Mario is more complex, but platforming is platforming.  No Mario has ever been as complex as 80% of the games released now-a-days. 


Plus, I don't know what you are looking for anymore.  They release a hybrid Mario that many people love and gets almost all 9-10 reviews and you say they dumb it down.  If they'd have released a direct sequel to M64 you would say they've ran out of ideas and just release the same old crap you played years ago.  What would make you happy?  A gory FPS like everyone else comes out with?  If you know someone with a Wii U try the game before you dismiss it. 


M64 was amazing and worth all the 10's it got for the time it was released and I'm sure Nintendo will go back to that style at some point.  3D World impresses me with the way it changes up the level design and really keeps things interesting.  I think the cat suit is the best powerup since the cape.  They can do alot with the fixed camera perspective.  Sometimes a level is more like M64 and other times it is more like NSMB.  They put alot of work into this title.  The fixed perspective leads to better platforming than M64 and allows them to hide items better in my opinion.  I like this title.  They might make 1 more or they might move on but I'm glad they made this.  And I'm glad I've bought a Wii U even if it doesn't get all the games the other consoles get.

Agreed, 3D World isn't "dumbed" down, it's just presenting three-dimensional space differently than games like 64 and Sunshine. It's a much different style, but not at all two-dimensional and it plays nothing like NSMBU.


As far as Mario complexity versus standard games these days, I thought it was interesting that my nephews (5 and 8) can fluidly play games like Max Payne 3 and GTA, but they struggle to beat the first level of NSMBU and have a pretty tough time by the second world of 3D World. I think what you're doing most of the time in Max Payne type games is not very nuanced or complicated.

smallsharkbigbiteNovember 30, 2013

I guess I was thinking complexity from a pure control basis.  Mario is basically run, jump, direction pad.  Difficulty is another thing entirely. 

Mop it upNovember 30, 2013

How many days of the week was it available? Wasn't it like 2 or 3? Might still be a big number next week.

Quote from: Ian

How did Super Mario 3D Land sell in Japan? If it underperformed there then we can say that Japan doesn't really want any sort of 3D Mario.

Super Mario 3D Land is the best-selling 3D Mario in Japan, and it actually sold the most during its first week than the others. I'm not sure why Super Mario Galaxy 2 was on the top of the list when it sold a little less than 3D Land.

Kytim89November 30, 2013

This proves that Nintendo is going to have to be more western centric when it comes to supporting their home consoles, and let their handhelds dominate their support for Japan. I would not be surprised that we sequels for the two 3DS Mario games sometime next year.

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement