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Nintendo: DS Has Best Year In History, Wii Not Far Behind
Nintendo: DS Has Best Year In History, Wii Not Far Behind
January 14, 2010 | By Christian Nutt

January 14, 2010 | By Christian Nutt
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Nintendo has released its post-NPD results statement, saying the Nintendo DS has had the best year in console gaming history and pointing to exceptionally strong sales of the Wii console in 2009.

According to Nintendo, the Nintendo DS models -- Nintendo DS Lite and DSi -- sold over 11.2 million U.S. units combined in 2009, which the company says sets a new calendar-year sales record for a piece of video game hardware.

The Wii, meanwhile, sold 9.6 million units for the year -- down 5.7 percent from 2008. According to Nintendo, 18.6 percent of units the system has sold over its lifetime were sold in November and December 2009, a spike which the company clearly hopes will imply a bright future for the system as competitors criticize it as being outdated.

As of the end of 2009, lifetime U.S. sales for the Wii have surpassed 27.2 million units, according to the company (using figures sourced from the NPD Group). At the same time, lifetime Nintendo DS sales have topped 38.8 million units, which beats its immediate predecessor the Game Boy Advance.

"Wii, Nintendo DS Lite and Nintendo DSi combined to sell more than 7 million units in the month of December alone," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, in the statement.

"Clearly there is overwhelming consumer demand for fun games, motion controls and value. This remarkable hardware sales surge presents a tremendous software opportunity for Nintendo and its third-party partners as we head into 2010."

Though Wii games dominated the 2009 NPD chart, despite Dunaway's exhortation, none were third party-developed, which will help to fuel recent claims that it's difficult to compete with the firm on its own platform.


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Comments


Ken Masters
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I don't see how third party developed games having difficulty competing with Nintendo's games is criticism. Nintendo is just that great of a developer. If there's criticism, it should be levied at 3rd parties. Nintendo shouldn't be expected to dumb their efforts down! Also, we don't know what 3rd party games are in the top 20 or even the top 50.

Jeferson Soler
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Aside from independent companies (and from my point-of-view), the only third-party companies that seem to taking the Wii seriously are Ubisoft, Square Enix (especially in Japan), and Capcom. Granted, in case of Capcom, it seems that Capcom Japan tends to be more serious with marketing the Wii games than Capcom USA, but Capcom still does great games for the Wii, in my opinion. Sega does a great job with couple games as well, but their best-sellers for the Wii are the Mario/Sonic Olympic games (which are highly marketed in comparison to other Sega Wii games). Not to mention, The Conduit is technically from High Voltage and not Sega and Sega didn't do enough to promote the game. Activision and EA do have a couple of successful titles and are doing well, which is good. However, they still need to take their skills as well as the Wii system to a whole new level in order to deliver high quality games. If High Voltage can do it, then so can anyone else. With an open-mind, great talent, and creative skills, anything is possible.

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Joe Cooper
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Nintendo hardware sales are up. Obviously, it _really_ means that the Wii is failing. Yay!

Ken Masters
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@ Everybody:



The problem is Gamasutra really cherrypicks the 3rd party games they want to highlight as "failures". They complain about sales of a niche, point & click adventure games (Zack & Wiki) and cherrypick *certain* M-rated games (the ones that didn't sell an arbitrary number of units for them to claim it to be a success).



If not for Matt Matthews, I don't know where we'd be. A few months ago, in an NPD feature, he showed that Wii 3rd party sales are above those of the 360 and PS3. He's also the one who reported on the success of Call of Duty: World at War on Wii - that game's performance was never reported at any other time on this site. I think that's because it didn't fit an agenda.



@ John Smith:



Notice how the author of this story shoehorned his statement about Wii 3rd party sales - which had nothing to do with anything - into the very last paragraph in order to do some damage control for the very article you linked to.



A lot of industry people have egg on their faces after these numbers and I imagine they're not too happy about it; enraged even. I hate to say it, but I think we'll some serious FUD and outright attacks after Nintendo posting numbers like this.

E Zachary Knight
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@ Ken,



You're right about 3rd party competition on the Wii. Nintendo has their AAA teams working on Wii while 3rd party developers have their B,C and D teams working on it. That is like having a race between a 2010 Mustang and a 1987 Honda Civic and complaining that the Civic lost the race.

Jonathan Hall
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Videogaming is about having fun, and Nintendo has proven they know how to provide that fun for all age levels and all abilities. Rather than gnashing ones teeth that the Wii has proven itself not to be a fad, gaming journalists should be celebrating that videogames have been brought into the mainstream and with a wave of enthusiasm.



Unfortunately the gaming media appears to be stuck in a vicious cycle, infatuated with high-performance processing and flashy graphics causing many gaming journalists to have trouble recognizing what a fun game actually is anymore. I've learned now to mostly ignore the views of gaming journalists and focus more on consumer reviews, who have little to no agenda other than - was this a fun game?



The user scores on metacritic and amazon reviews are so much more on the ball than that of nearly all of the reviewers out there.



Case in point - Just Dance, which is the current huge Wii hit for Ubisoft. It gets a critical score of 45, with IGN exclaiming with its score of 20, "Do not buy this game. Do not rent this game, do not look at this game on the shelf, don’t even think about this game lest someone at Ubisoft find out and they prep a Just Dance 2. Such would be the end of all things, mark my words."



And yet people are renting and buying this games in droves. The game receives glowing reviews from consumers giving it an 8.6 on metacritic and 113 very excited reviews on amazon giving it 4.5 stars out of 5. Clearly people are enjoying this game and having a lot of fun with it. It's selling like hotcakes and people are playing it at parties around the U.S. and Europe. It's a phenomenon.



Did you read that anywhere on Gamasutra or kotaku or IGN? No.



Game journalists newsflash - you're missing the boat. Get out of your shell and talk to actual gamers. You just might actually get a glimpse of the reality beyond your high-def screen.

Jeferson Soler
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I agree with what Jonathan Hall said. Also (and as John Gordon pointed out in a feature article), it is kind of strange that Gamasutra talked about the most anticipated titles for X-Box 360, PS3, DS, and PSP, but they didn't say anything about what were the most anticipated titles for the Wii and were giving the gloom and doom article about 3rd parties on the Wii instead. Anyhow, I just hope that Capcom USA does strong marketing for Monster Hunter 3, as they can't just rely on the Internet, magazines, and word-of-mouth to sell products.

E Zachary Knight
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@Jeferson,



I was wondering that myself. is there noone at Gamasutra that is anticipating any Wii titles for the Year?

A W
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@ Ephriam

I don't speak for G-sutra but the games I anticipate for the Wii are Mario Galaxy 2, No More Heroes 2, The Grind (High Voltage Software), Red Steel 2, Metroid other M, Monster Hunters Tri, Fragile, Arc Rise Fantasia, and Tales of Grace.



LoZ goes without saying.

Carl Chavez
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@Ephriam:



Regarding the 'Anticipated Wii Games of 2010': Personally, I'm hoping Fragile is good. It's a heavily story-driven game that is going to bomb in sales, but wow, the trailers I saw were captivating. If there's a new Zelda coming out this year, that would be nice, too.

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E Zachary Knight
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I went ahead and tossed a list together. I will add some of the titles listed here as I didn't see some of those RPGs



http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/EphriamKnight/20100115/4122/The_Mo
st_Anticipated_Games_Of_2010_Wii.php

Leon T
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@ Christian



That is still not a good reason not to post a 2010 list for the Wii.

gstarr W
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@ Jonathan - Played Just Dance weekend before last at family gathering. Both I and my mom! bought it. Loads of fun. Screw the reviews everyone. Rent it for your next party and you will see!!



Perhaps game developers have no idea what sales on Wii because the companies they work for demand 100 hour work weeks, and they never actually spend time with other people. In the same room. During daylight. Not on the internet. Hmmmm. I guess we won't see a hit Wii game from Rockstar, will we? God knows their wives are busy "Just Dance"-ing with the cute next-door neighbor, who actually comes home from work, and has a social life.


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