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Nintendo Hints at 2009 Releases, Recent First-Party Million Sellers

by Carmine Red - February 2, 2009, 6:59 pm EST
Total comments: 23 Source: Nintendo

Nintendo's third quarter financial results suggest that Wii Sports Resort and Punch-Out!! will arrive in the first half of 2009. Also, Kirby Super Star Ultra and Wii Music join the list of Nintendo million sellers.

Nintendo's financial releases often contain data that can be of interest to game industry followers. Most recently, supplemental data for Nintendo's third quarter finances included a list of recent first-party million-selling titles as well as a rough forecast for future releases.

To begin with, Nintendo listed 15 first-party DS titles and 11 first-party Wii titles that classified as million sellers and received sales during the period of April 2008 to December 2008, the first three quarters of Nintendo's current fiscal year. While the list doesn't include games that may be million sellers but did not post million unit sales over the last nine months, it also includes 17 games that launched in one or more markets before April 2008. The presence of so many of these titles goes to show Nintendo's ability to exhibit what they call "evergreen" sales long after a game's release.

Recently launched DS titles that joined the million-selling club include Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness, Pokémon Platinum (currently available only in Japan), Kirby Super Star Ultra, Rhythm Heaven, Personal Trainer: Cooking, and Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia. Recent Wii games to cross the sales threshold included Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Wii Music, and Mario Super Sluggers.

Nintendo Q32009 Million Sellers Highlight

Nintendo also revealed a rough forecast of upcoming game releases. Though the list of games is by no means exhaustive and the dates and titles are subject to change, the report does indicate many upcoming Nintendo titles that are yet to see release or even extensive exposure. For example, Dynamic Zan (Dynamic Slash) and Cosmic Walker both were revealed at Nintendo's Fall 2008 Conference in October, but only through mere seconds of footage.

However, it is worth noting that Nintendo already seems to have plans to bring the Wii Adventure title Another Code R (the sequel to Trace Memory on the DS) and the diving simulator Endless Ocean 2 to Europe. There are no listings for the games yet under the section for North America. However, Nintendo has indicated an American launch for both Wii Sports Resort and Punch Out!! in the first half of 2009.

Long-time Nintendo observers should also note that Hoshi no Kirby, which started life as a GameCube title, is still on Nintendo's books.

Nintendo Q32009 1st Party Release Forecast

Talkback

EnnerFebruary 02, 2009

Given the split between how Super Paper Mario and Donkey Kong Barrel Blast panned out, I'm on the fence if Kirby's Star should be finished.

Oh what the heck, bring a Kirby platformer on the Wii!

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterFebruary 02, 2009

Quote from: Enner

Given the split between how Super Paper Mario and Donkey Kong Barrel Blast panned out, I'm on the fence if Kirby's Star should be finished.

Oh what the heck, bring a Kirby platformer on the Wii!

Super Paper Mario turned out alright. It wasn't a Wii heavy title (save for some things) so it wasn't as disastrous as "Barrel Blast".

Surprised to see Mario Sluggers as a million seller.

Quote from: pap64

Surprised to see Mario Sluggers as a million seller.

Me too. Heck, I'm surprised to see Mario Party 8 on that list as a million-seller over the last 9 months!

Mario Super Slugger is full of win. That game was a season mode away from getting a 9 or higher.

Also, PUNCH-OUT!! YAY!

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterFebruary 03, 2009

Quote from: nron10

Mario Super Slugger is full of win. That game was a season mode away from getting a 9 or higher.

Also, PUNCH-OUT!! YAY!

Yes, its such an awesome game. Too bad it got crapped on for not being different enough (I never played the first game, so this was a whole new experience for me) or the ultimate baseball game.

Wow, sounds like I should buy it...

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterFebruary 03, 2009

Quote from: Kairon

Wow, sounds like I should buy it...

If you played the original game to death then the new game might feel familiar. If not, then you should enjoy it.

Creating a team out of the 40+ characters can be very fun, challenging and sometimes time consuming. Having a whole team of Miis is also fun. The stadiums are very well made and change completely at night. The single player mode is good and a fun diversion and even the minigames can be quite fun.

Definitely a recommendation, especially for multiplayer.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusFebruary 03, 2009

Super Sluggers is a great game, it's just not worth it though if you played the first one to death. It's basically the same game, save for a few small differences.

As pap said, if you haven't played the original, or want to own a Mario Baseball game, Super Sluggers is an excellent choice. It's a solid arcade baseball game (a dying genre).

NinGurl69 *hugglesFebruary 03, 2009

Nintendo could've saved us the trouble by porting Superstar Baseball onto the "Play it on Wii" series instead.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterFebruary 03, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

Nintendo could've saved us the trouble by porting Superstar Baseball onto the "Play it on Wii" series instead.

People then would have complained about it being simplified for the casual audience and that real effort should have been spent on a REAL sequel instead.

It would have been a lose/lose for everyone.

NinGurl69 *hugglesFebruary 03, 2009

And today Mario Baseball money is being spent to port last gen's Mario Tennis.

We've already lost/lost.

UltimatePartyBearFebruary 03, 2009

Quote from: pap64

Quote from: NinGurl69

Nintendo could've saved us the trouble by porting Superstar Baseball onto the "Play it on Wii" series instead.

People then would have complained about it being simplified for the casual audience and that real effort should have been spent on a REAL sequel instead.

It would have been a lose/lose for everyone.

Aren't people already saying that about Super Sluggers?

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterFebruary 03, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

And today Mario Baseball money is being spent to port last gen's Mario Tennis.

We've already lost/lost.

I think part of that money goes to Namco, which they co-develop.

I believe part of that money went to fund Outdoor Challenge...or something like that.

Oh yeah, there's the Tales games on the game, but anyone can make those at a cheap price ;) .

Mop it upFebruary 03, 2009

I'm not surprised to see that Mario Super Sluggers sold a million copies, because it's a fun pick-up-and-play Mario game. It has a wide appeal, it can be enjoyed by just about anyone, save maybe crotchety old gamers who played the first one. I don't really even like baseball but I find the game to be highly enjoyable.

Could it be better? Sure. Then again, what game couldn't be better? People need to stop focusing on what it isn't and enjoy it for what it is: a solid arcade-style baseball game.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterFebruary 03, 2009

To be perfectly honest the reason I believe Sluggers wasn't a big leap over the first one, as well as City Folk, is because they wanted to net new players with the proven gameplay while not alienating existing fans and adding some tweaks and upgrades to the system.

The first game was not only released near the end of the GC's life it was marketed towards the core fanbase. The game didn't gain enough fans because of it.

Now that existing franchises have proven to be a massive success on the Wii (and DS) they can now market these games for everyone, not just the fans that enjoy Mario.

Sluggers is basically a remake of the first game made to attract a new audience that might have missed it the first time around.

The commercials and ads pushed this very hard, with the special videos on the Nintendo Channel and the collectible baseball cards (oh and I guess the special pre-order call helped it too). The game likely had a bigger impact on the Wii than it did on the GC.

I wouldn't be surprised if they announced a sequel to Sluggers and called it "Mario Sluggers 2" and that's the add that feels more like an upgrade.

Mop it upFebruary 04, 2009

Quote from: pap64

Sluggers is basically a remake of the first game made to attract a new audience that might have missed it the first time around.

I think that's why it was criticized so harshly by certain reviewers: they played the first game (Superstar Baseball). Heck, I bought the first game after I bought Sluggers because I was curious as to what was different. Superstar Baseball actually does have a few details that are missing from Sluggers, such as post-game stats and vertical movement in the batter's box. Anyone who has the first game needn't bother with Sluggers.

A sequel would be wonderful. The gameplay of Sluggers is so good that I'd love to see a whole bunch more modes, characters, and stadiums crammed into it, as well as a little more polish (especially with the graphics).

Ian SaneFebruary 06, 2009

Quote:

To be perfectly honest the reason I believe Sluggers wasn't a big leap over the first one, as well as City Folk, is because they wanted to net new players with the proven gameplay while not alienating existing fans and adding some tweaks and upgrades to the system.

I wouldn't agree with the "not alienating existing fans" part.  I thought making the games too similar is EXACTLY what alienated existing fans because they felt they played it already.  But the other stuff is dead on.  Most of the Wii userbase didn't own a Cube so Nintendo's logic is "why go to the extra trouble to make a full-on sequel when most of the userbase will be satisfied with a glorified remake"?

I don't like it because it preys on ignorance.  Every Cube game is playable on the Wii anyway but Nintendo doesn't promote the feature so you get people paying full price for a remake when the Cube version is in the used bin at EB for less than 10 bucks largely because they don't know better and Nintendo doesn't make Cube memory cards or controllers readily available for purchase.  Cube owners get preyed on as well.  If you owned the original game on the Cube and bought the Wii game thinking it was a sequel only to discover it's almost the same game that's not right.  It's like Nintendo swindled you.  At least now with the "Play it on the Wii" series they're acknowledging the remake status.

There's nothing really wrong with the games themselves, just the context in which they're released.  I imagine the Wii-makes will get better reviews because Nintendo isn't promoting them as sequels.  If Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition was called Resident Evil 5 it would have gotten torn apart by critics as well.

Mop it upFebruary 06, 2009

Quote from: Ian

I imagine the Wii-makes will get better reviews because Nintendo isn't promoting them as sequels.

And they also have a lower price point, which should help in that respect.

I like that they are releasing these games again, because from what I've seen I can't get Pikmin or Mario Power Tennis BRAND NEW for $30. The better controls are like a bonus for waiting. What worries me about these re-releases is that I fear they may be in the place of a sequel; might we still see a new Mario Tennis on Wii? Things are looking doubtful now.

UrkelFebruary 07, 2009

Quote from: Ian

Quote:

To be perfectly honest the reason I believe Sluggers wasn't a big leap over the first one, as well as City Folk, is because they wanted to net new players with the proven gameplay while not alienating existing fans and adding some tweaks and upgrades to the system.

I wouldn't agree with the "not alienating existing fans" part.  I thought making the games too similar is EXACTLY what alienated existing fans because they felt they played it already.  But the other stuff is dead on.  Most of the Wii userbase didn't own a Cube so Nintendo's logic is "why go to the extra trouble to make a full-on sequel when most of the userbase will be satisfied with a glorified remake"?

I don't like it because it preys on ignorance.  Every Cube game is playable on the Wii anyway but Nintendo doesn't promote the feature so you get people paying full price for a remake when the Cube version is in the used bin at EB for less than 10 bucks largely because they don't know better and Nintendo doesn't make Cube memory cards or controllers readily available for purchase.  Cube owners get preyed on as well.  If you owned the original game on the Cube and bought the Wii game thinking it was a sequel only to discover it's almost the same game that's not right.  It's like Nintendo swindled you.  At least now with the "Play it on the Wii" series they're acknowledging the remake status.

There's nothing really wrong with the games themselves, just the context in which they're released.  I imagine the Wii-makes will get better reviews because Nintendo isn't promoting them as sequels.  If Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition was called Resident Evil 5 it would have gotten torn apart by critics as well.

Most of the people who own a Wii but didn't own a Gamecube wouldn't be interested in the Gamecube version, anyway. They want motion controls. That's the whole point of this "Play on Wii" series. Those people clearly didn't care about those games the first time around, but with motion/pointer controls they just might buy it this time.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterFebruary 07, 2009

Quote from: Mop_it_up

Quote from: Ian

I imagine the Wii-makes will get better reviews because Nintendo isn't promoting them as sequels.

And they also have a lower price point, which should help in that respect.

I like that they are releasing these games again, because from what I've seen I can't get Pikmin or Mario Power Tennis BRAND NEW for $30. The better controls are like a bonus for waiting. What worries me about these re-releases is that I fear they may be in the place of a sequel; might we still see a new Mario Tennis on Wii? Things are looking doubtful now.

The way I see it, the "Play on Wii" series exist for two reasons...

- Get fans reacquainted with the classic games as well as net some new fans who missed the games the first time around

- Implement Wii controls on proven gameplay concepts for experimentation purposes

One of the reasons Twilight Princess was moved to the Wii was because they wanted to experiment with some of the technology and see how it was accepted by fans. While the game was a success nearly everywhere in Japan it pretty much flopped, so now they are taking what was done on TP and improve on it further.

Since Miyamoto said that Pikmin 3 is in the works I am guessing the remakes are to experiment with the technology as well as familiarize players with the franchise (which is still pretty niche despite its pedigree).

Shouldn't they move on to Wii Plus experimentation by now?

Mop it upFebruary 08, 2009

Experimenting is good but I hope these games aren't in the place of sequels. I know that Pikmin 3 appears to be in development, but I'm worried that this is the exception. Are we going to see sequels to Donkey Konga and Mario Power Tennis? Will Metroid Prime 1 and 2 be the last Metroid games on Wii? Will Nintendo re-release more GameCube games on Wii instead of sequels, with games like Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour?

This is what worries me. Because I am a worrier. A worrier warrior.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterFebruary 08, 2009

Quote from: Mop_it_up

Experimenting is good but I hope these games aren't in the place of sequels. I know that Pikmin 3 appears to be in development, but I'm worried that this is the exception. Are we going to see sequels to Donkey Konga and Mario Power Tennis? Will Metroid Prime 1 and 2 be the last Metroid games on Wii? Will Nintendo re-release more GameCube games on Wii instead of sequels, with games like Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour?

This is what worries me. Because I am a worrier. A worrier warrior.

A Donkey Kong title has apparently been in the works since 2006. Mario Tennis and Metroid Prime sequels are up to their respective developers and if they want to continue making them.

I think Nintendo knows that these remakes are no replacements for the real deal and are mainly filler releases in between quarters.

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