Mario Kart 8 was a roaring success for the Wii U, doubling console sales in the past year, and helping make Nintendo profitable for the first time in years. Now it looks like Nintendo thinks Super Smash Bros. may do it once again for the console. With pre-order sales for the new game surpassing the pre-order sales for Mario Kart 8, it’s easy to see why Nintendo of America’s president, Reggie Fils-Aime, is so optimistic (via Bloomberg).
“Our expectation is that the sell-through for ‘Smash’ is going to be very strong, certainly on par with what we saw with ‘Mario Kart 8.’ We think the impact on hardware will be similarly dramatic.”
On top of sales for the software, there will no doubt be many gamers who were waiting to jump on the Wii U bandwagon.
“Consumers buy the hardware so they can play the software. When you have a robust library of games, that’s when consumers jump in.”
Though one can hardly argue with this comment from Fils-Aime, Nintendo has a bad history of lacking in third-party software support. “Robust” isn’t quite the word many would use to describe the Wii U’s library, but what Nintendo does have over Sony and Microsoft are timeless franchises like Mario, Zelda, and Smash Bros. With that said, there are a great number of people who will buy the Wii U just to play Super Smash Bros., thereby proving Fils-Aime’s point. But there is still the question of whether or not Mario Kart 8 captured most of the lingering potential console sales. Is having only a couple of top-notch games available a quarter really the best strategy for Nintendo?
One can never say Nintendo is only focused on their short game. Their strategy to gain market share among non-gamers with the Wii didn’t quite work out for them long term, but they did have a grand plan in place that just didn’t work out. When the Wii U first came out and sales didn’t take, fans and analysts were quick to say that Nintendo should abandon the Wii U. Nintendo stuck to their guns, despite criticism, and while things may have worked out in their favor in the short term, Nintendo did not find abandoning the Wii U in their best interest.
So far, this strategy seems to slowly be paying off for them, and with Nintendo’s big juggernaut franchises still on the horizon, it’s reasonable to believe the number of consoles sold will increase over time. But will they double in the next year? It’s an ambitious goal, to say the least.
What are your thoughts on Nintendo’s goals? Are you going out to buy a Wii U to play Super Smash Bros., or are you still hesitant to jump on a console with relatively limited titles?