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Nintendo Sales Panic: November 2015 US NPD Group Results

by Donald Theriault - December 14, 2015, 6:07 pm PST
Total comments: 6 Source: NPD Group

A few days late and a few hundred million dollars short.

November's US sales had a few surprises and some disappointments for Nintendo systems and games.

In terms of hardware, the Wii U sold at about a similar level to the same time last year with Super Smash Bros, selling approximately 240,000 consoles in November largely due to the Smash Splat bundle. A precise 3DS number was not available, but the 3DS sold approximately 510,000 units last November and handheld consoles were down 31% over last year according to the NPD Group, which would translate to approximately 355,000 systems.

In software, the only Nintendo title in the combined top 10 is Just Dance 2016, which was confirmed to sell over 300,000 units combined. The top two selling versions of the game were the Wii U version in 2nd place, and amazingly the Wii version as the best seller. Nintendo's first party releases in November struggled, as Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon was the only game of the four to crack six figures. According to estimates, Yo-Kai Watch turned in about 70,000 sales in its first month, Animal Crossing amiibo Festival sold 36,000 copies and Mario Tennis Ultra Smash did not clear 20,000 copies sold.

Nintendo's other triumph this month was in amiibo, as the figures are now over 11 million in the United States.

Talkback

EnnerDecember 14, 2015

Seeing this, my #NX2017 flag is making less and less sense.

fred13December 15, 2015

The Wii version of Just Dance 2016 is the best seller? Are you kidding me? That's incredible!

rlse9December 15, 2015

Well, they released a poorly reviewed spin-off game of a series they didn't bother to release a mainline game for on Wii U and stripped down tennis game that reviewed very poorly.  They probably feel pretty good about the fact that they managed to sell the same number of consoles as last year given how weak their holiday lineup has been (especially if you consider early September as not a holiday season game) and how stubborn they've been about having any permanent price drops.

Ian SaneDecember 15, 2015

Sometimes the world does make sense and Ultra Smash's poor sales proves it.

Weak 3DS sales seemed surprising until I realized I have not bought a 3DS game all year.  Nintendo's best reviewed 3DS titles this year are remakes like Majora's Mask and Xenoblade while their new 3DS titles like Codename S.T.E.A.M., Triforce Heroes and Happy Home Designer are duds.  This year has been a really bad year for Nintendo releases that fall flat as the Wii U gets junk like Ultra Smash and Devil's Third.  20 years from now if you make a "worst Nintendo first party titles ever" list 2015 might have more titles on the list than any other year.  Nintendo should be thrilled the Wii U has sold as well as it did last year considering how many weak titles they've released in just this quarter alone.

Luigi DudeDecember 15, 2015

Quote from: Ian

Nintendo should be thrilled the Wii U has sold as well as it did last year considering how many weak titles they've released in just this quarter alone.

The Wii U had Splatoon, Mario Maker, and Xenoblade Chronicles X this year which were all major high quality titles so 2015 wasn't all bad.  In Japan, the Wii U has been selling better this year then last entirely because of Splatoon alone.  There's also Yoshi's Wolly World which was also a great title as well and the first actual great Yoshi game since the original, which was released 20 years ago.  Kirby's Rainbow Cruise was also a pretty good game as well.

Ian SaneDecember 16, 2015

Quote from: Luigi

Quote from: Ian

Nintendo should be thrilled the Wii U has sold as well as it did last year considering how many weak titles they've released in just this quarter alone.

The Wii U had Splatoon, Mario Maker, and Xenoblade Chronicles X this year which were all major high quality titles so 2015 wasn't all bad.  In Japan, the Wii U has been selling better this year then last entirely because of Splatoon alone.  There's also Yoshi's Wolly World which was also a great title as well and the first actual great Yoshi game since the original, which was released 20 years ago.  Kirby's Rainbow Cruise was also a pretty good game as well.

No 2015 wasn't all bad and had some great games.  But you pretty much listed literally every good game released for the Wii U in the entire year.  The Wii U doesn't get many games to begin with and Fatal Frame, Amiibo Festival, Mario Party 10, Devil's Third and Mario Tennis all got bad reviews.  Rodeo was probably the most prominent third party title and it reviewed poorly as well.  I'm sure Nintendo was hoping that all their first party games would be decent titles but they basically had only a 50% success rate this year.  How many years has Nintendo had that kind of ratio?  When you're essentially supporting the console entirely by yourself you make sure you deliver the goods but this year Nintendo was pretty inconsistent at doing that... and yet it didn't completely torpedo Wii U sales so titles like Splatoon and Super Mario Maker deserve a lot of credit for that.

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