This Week In Sales: Wii U Debuts With Mario And Monster Hunter

By Ishaan . December 12, 2012 . 12:30pm

Period: The week of December 3rd – December 9th (2012)

Top-seller: Yakuza 5 – 356,757

Nintendo 3DS sales: 75,126 | Total sales: 7,318,510

Nintendo 3DS XL sales: 136,373 | Total sales: 1,480,868

PlayStation Vita sales: 11,039 | Total sales: 1,074,621

Wii U sales: 308,142 | Total sales: 308,142

<< Last week’s software sales chart


The Wii U launched in Japan this past weekend. Nintendo released their latest console on December 8th, and it sold 308,142 units at launch. Here’s how that stacks up compared to the last few major console launches in Japan, with all figures provided by sales tracker Media Create:


PlayStation 3: 81,639 (2006)

Wii: 350,258 (2006)

Nintendo 3DS: 374,764 (2011)

PlayStation Vita: 324,859 (2011)


The highest-selling Wii U game was, of course, New Super Mario Bros. U, with 163,528 copies sold. That’s a far cry from New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s debut of 934,739 copies sold. For what it’s worth, New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s launch figures accounted for four days of data, whereas U only has two days, and the game also sold to a significantly larger Wii userbase upon release.


Meanwhile, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate sold 106,388 copies, which isn’t bad considering that this is the fifth game based on Monster Hunter 3 and is virtually identical to the Nintendo 3DS version of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, which has been available for over a year now in Japan.


Nintendo Land, however, did not do very well. The game wasn’t bundled along with the Wii U Premium Set in Japan and sold a mere 72,121 copies. Ouch. Maybe we’ll see sales pick up over time, but that doesn’t make for a very good first impression.


The real story of Wii U’s launch will be told over the next few weeks, as we find out how it holds up over the holidays. Nintendo and third-parties have been cagey with details on major game announcements outside of the “launch window,” which extends up until March 2013, so the Wii U has a lot to prove.


The top-20 chart for the week was as follows:


Lw Tw Title Weekly Sales Total Sales Sys. Publisher
New 01. Yakuza 5 356,757 New PS3 Sega
New 02. New Super Mario Bros. U 163,528 New WiiU Nintendo
New 03. Paper Mario: Sticker Star 129,054 New 3DS Nintendo
New 04. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate 106,388 New WiiU Capcom
04. 05. Animal Crossing: New Leaf 89,195 1,301,507 3DS Nintendo
New 06. Nintendo Land 72,121 New WiiU Nintendo
03. 07. Taiko Drum Master: Super Splendid Edition 58,655 174,610 Wii Namco Bandai
08. 08. New Super Mario Bros. 2 47,929 1,501,086 3DS Nintendo
05. 09. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Magnagate and the Infinite Labyrinth 43,005 212,524 3DS Pokémon Co.
02. 10. Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney 29,271 158,127 3DS Level 5
01. 11. The 2nd Super Robot Taisen OG 24,175 241,885 PS3 Namco Bandai
06. 12. Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational 22,645 161,381 PS3 Sony
13. 13. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Best Price!) 17,742 54,067 3DS Capcom
07. 14. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Subtitled) 17,237 250,821 PS3 Square Enix
New 15. ZombiU 13,000 New WiiU Ubisoft
17. 16. Run for Money Tousouchuu 11,512 263,402 3DS Namco Bandai
21 17. Pokémon Black/White 2 11,498 2,858,740 DS Pokémon Co.
16. 18. Style Savvy: Trendsetters 11,286 199,291 3DS Nintendo
22. 19. Taiko Drum Master: The Little Dragon and the Mysterious Orb 9,306 282,180 3DS Namco Bandai
26. 20. Mario Kart 7 8,611 1,851,264 3DS Nintendo


Sales data acquired from 4Gamer, Media Create and

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    Nintendoland was supposed to be the next Wii Sports, I guess introducing themes based on cherished Nintendo franchises doesnt work anymore with people having grown tired of the same old same old. Ultimately, with games with mario in their name seemingly experiencing decreased sales, perhaps Nintendo ought to open the cage and infuse more money into their think tank and reveal new IPs not based on simple hobbies or steel submersibles, or else they will face trouble in 2013 with the rise of the next gen consoles. I wonder if Wii U was even necessary with Nintendo selling ~200K handhelds each week.

    • Kevin Tan

      Nintendo Land is anything but the same old, same old. It’s one of the hardest games I’ve ever played and a return to the arcade difficulty of old. Incidentally, it’s done better in the US than JP if you include bundles. :o

      • XYZ_JolteonZ980

        I thought in the US its failed to chart like everything else that wasnt Mario, so I dont think it is doing that well. Hard, Difficult, Arcade Difficulty, dont seem like concepts that the people that Nintendo Wii U ads are targeting would actually want to play, actually.

        • James Beatty

          It didn’t sell that well in the US because anyone who wanted it probably got the premium bundle that includes it since it’s the cheapest way to get the wii u and the game. It seems like you are trying too hard to make it look bad tbh :/

        • LinkofCourage

          If you’re referring to NPD charts, then remember that there were a lot of big titles in November. It would have been near impossible for Nland to chart.

    • Nintendo Land is clearly not Wii Sports but I don’t think it has anything to do with being “same old, same old,” since there’s nothing that’s actually “same old” about it. The problem is more that it’s simply a difficult concept to communicate to people.

      • sd28

        this i agree with

    • James Beatty

      I don’t what you have heard, but mario games are still selling very well. Some more than others of course. With 1 out of every 3 people buying a wii U getting NSMBU i don’t see how anyone could say that the sales are bad. And yes, the wii U is necessary. :)

      • XYZ_JolteonZ980

        I think sales like that imply it only sold to hardcore Mario fans and not to a wider audience, there were still 2 out of 3 people who didnt buy Mario, in that case. For a franchise that can debut near 1mln sales, shouldnt it be expected that a majority of Wii U owners would, be expected to get NSMBU?

        • kylehyde

          Did you even read the article? the install base still is pretty small
          compared to the existing one in Wii, is not possible to sell a million if the install base still is at 308,142. Also the mario games tend to have
          large legs. So I won’t be surprised that before a month the game reach the million. Even mario 64 DS continued to sell after many years of being relesed.

          • XYZ_JolteonZ980

            Yes I did which is why I said a majority instead of a million, 33% is not selling to a majority of owners, theres still 66% (the majority) that didnt buy the game. (using his 1 out of 3 number)

    • pressUPfororanges

      I don’t think it has anything to do with people being tired of old IPs. It’s probably because Nintendo Land stands in a strange middle-ground. Not quite the concise tutorial-ish pack-in that Wii Sports was, yet not quite a traditionally meaty game either.
      When people are faced with games (or anything else for that matter) that stand in a “grey zone”, there’s a big chance most will end up not buying it because they don’t really know what to expect – especially considering it’s at full-price.

      Shame though, it’s a genuinely great game. I’m enjoying every second of it.

      • ronin4life

        I don’t think wii sports was a pack-in in Japan.

        • pressUPfororanges

          True, but it was cheaper (around 40$) and easier to understand off-the-bat.

      • malek86

        I think that Nintendo specifically targeted its fans with the game (notice all the Nintendo properties), whereas Wii Sports was aimed at everyone.

        It fits well with the general concept of the Wii U, which unlike the Wii, seems to be aimed more at gamers rather than new players.

      • Aoshi00

        Yeah, Nintendo Land is a bit of a weird beast.. I went straight to Mario.. then needed to take a break, so popped in Nintendo Land and only played the Ninja star throwing game.. it was definitely no cakewalk.

        Wii Sports you could instantly get into and have a blast w/ anyone.. Also the Mii were a novelty back then, to see a super deformed you and family member flinging and swinging :)

        I got the Wii U solely for Mario, and it’s really fun and challenging :) The Pad sucks a lot of power though, and the loading btwn screens is quite long.. and for multiplatform games like AC3, Arkham City, etc, I have to be honest, Nintendo disappointed me for not having trophy/achievement equivalent.. I know they like to do things their own way, but they really should’ve added “accomplishment”.. Miiverse message is kinda cool though..

  • Pietro Spina

    Monster Hunter Ultimate on WiiU (“3GHD ver.” in jap) it is NOT the fifth game based on Monster Hunter Trii, it’s just the third one, I’d say the second because is IDENTICAL to the 3DS version.

    PSP Portable 3rd it’s a totally different game.

    • I would hardly call Portable 3rd a “totally different game”. Yes, it has things unique to it, but it shares a lot in common with Tri. Both Tri and P3rd are part of the third generation, and no one but the most hardcore fans sees it any other way.

    • ronin4life

      P3rd is not much unlike 3g with the same locations monsters and weapons. Except for a few minor diferences and the lack of swimming in p3rd.

      So I think calling 3ghd the fifth entry in the 3rd mon hun is quite accurate.

  • A few other observations:

    1. That’s that for Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney. It’s dropping fast.

    2. Everything increased in sales but the Vita. Not a good sign for it. There’s not much to help sales significantly for the next four months either.

    3. No Super Mario 3D Land in the top-20 so far. We’ll see if it makes a comeback later in the month.

    4. Yakuza 5 more or less in line with the last two games. Not bad at all.

    • ronin4life

      I can’t totally agree with the AA/Layton outlook. Games have seen drops like that and hung on before. And it is still in the top ten, even beating out last weeks #1(if I’m not mistaken)

      To see it flop wouldn’t suprise me much, but I can’t count it out just yet.

      • I’m not calling it a flop, though. I’m just saying what we’ve seen so far is about it. It’s not going to sell much more. It isn’t that kind of game by the look of things.

        • ronin4life

          Eh, I think it could go a little longer… I think it may have some respectively long legs is what I mean.

          This thought depends on what I see next week though.

    • malek86

      I don’t think we’ll get SM3DL back, since NSMB2 seems to have taken its spot, pretty much. Then again, there’s been something of a Mario overload lately.

      • According to Media Create, 3D Land was at #30 last week, while Mario Kart 7 was at #26. I wouldn’t be surprised if 3D Land was just outside the top-20 this week. I think there’s definitely a decent chance we see it making a comeback!

    • LinkofCourage

      Well, 3D land is in the top 30 and, along with other 3DS games, got a big percentage increase.

    • Dragon24680

      I don’t agree about vita, there are a lot games slated for next few months, although I agree none of them except soul sacrifice is a system seller on its own. Plus, I really think a vita price drop is inevitable in a few months. Sony failed to respond to the ninty price drop, as I think like many others, at same price , vita would have sold a ton and possibly eclipsed 3ds, but alas, that was not to be.

      Yeah, but it definitely doesn’t look good in the current state of things.

  • ronin4life

    I heard elsewhere 3ds has surpassed ps3 lifetime sales… is this true?

    Anyway, I am interested in how the next few weeks play out…

    Also Off topic, where is the 3ds Manga reader? The delay has been really long…

    • James Beatty

      Yes, it’s true

    • Yes, 3DS has surpassed PS3 lifetime sales as of this week.

      • PreyMantis

        Dang… I have a feeling that the Wii U might just surpass the Vita, too.

        • ringwaldhaze

          I’d trust that feeling.

        • Dragon24680

          I don’t think so. I am sure sony will reduce vita price in 3-4 months. Coupled with a new version, I think vita will be much stronger next year.

      • darkfox1

        A….Are you sure Ishaan? That sounds really wild I never thought about how the lifetime sales compare to other consoles….

        • Absolutely positive. They’re both over the 8 million mark. I keep track of PS3 numbers but we don’t include them in the sales column, since listing every single system would be overload. We’re just focusing on the new gen of systems.

          This is why I keep telling folks that it’s important to try and keep this stuff in perspective. No one believed us when we said it in 2011, but the 3DS was always going to be Japan’s next major console for games. We’ll likely see this come to fruition in 2013.

    • Dragon24680

      I don’t think its surprising. It will most probably overtake wii in 6-8 months too.

  • xavier axol

    It’s nice to see yakuza 5 on the number one spot, those are some good numbers. and may be, we might just get yakuza 5 here in the states.

  • SUPER ROBOT! SUPER ROBOT! OHHHHH, I HOPE it comes to the west, eventually!

  • LinkofCourage

    Hopefully IEGo 2 makes good growth and Fantasy Life sells decently, L5 isn’t doing so hot these days. And if Nintendo can’t produce enough AC in time for the holidays, they should make more hardware bundles.

  • Arrei

    I gotta ask, why compare New U to New Wii at all? You compare a launch title game to a game that came out three years after launch, and a brief mention of the Wii game selling to a greater userbase doesn’t make the comparison that much less outlandish.

    • SirRichard

      Comparing a game’s early sales to those of its predecessor is hardly outlandish, mate, circumstances of their releases aside.

      • Arrei

        A game being compared to its predecessor may not be on its own, but when the circumstances are launch vs. the middle of the console’s life, those circumstances are far more important to the game’s performance than any relation to the series. The way it’s written, it looks as if the Wii game selling to a much larger base is just something to keep in mind rather than the driving force behind the different sales.

  • SirRichard

    Despite being towards the bottom end, it’s encouraging that ZombiU managed to chart at all given all the competition on there, and it even managed a solid 13k. The Wii U didn’t do too far off the Wii’s initial sales, either, though who knows if that’s considered a good thing at Nintendo.

  • サレム

    I wonder if the Wii U will see biger rise in sales once they start releasing Wii Fit U and casual games compared to the main Nintendo franchises.

  • James Fox

    Nintendo needs to send porn to 3rd party with the message “Make games for the Wii U and we’ll send more”

  • Dragon24680

    Is it just me or Yakuza numbers seem a bit low?

  • s07195

    Tousouchuu, hang in there…! :D

  • Göran Isacson

    Alas, hang in there Layton and Wright, you are far too amazing a concept to simply go quietly into that dark night…

    Or maybe this is what they’d expected to sell, I dunno. I’m just saying it doesn’t look too impressive.

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