Mario Kart 8 Sells Through 81% Of Shipment In Japan

By Ishaan . June 6, 2014 . 12:30pm

In Japan, Nintendo released Mario Kart 8 on May 29th. The game sold 325,892 copies, and Japanese sales tracker Media Create reports that it sold through 80.90% of its initial shipment.


Mario Kart 8 saw the strongest debut of any Wii U game in Japan, but Media Create points out the same thing we did earlier in the week—that it didn’t do much to help Wii U hardware sales. Wii U sales for the week were limited to 19,312 units, despite TV commercials creating demand for Mario Kart 8 itself.


Nintendo games and hardware tend to pick up during holiday periods, so Mario Kart 8 will probably move more Wii U consoles at different points throughout the year, but thus far, the game’s effect on Wii U hardware in Japan is rather disappointing.


In the months ahead, Nintendo will release Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. At E3 next week, the company has pledged to show off more games that make use of the Wii U’s GamePad controller.

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  • otakumike

    It just seems like the game sold to those that already owned the system. I wonder if it did better in the west, where people still buy consoles.

    • British_Otaku

      It is very rare that the sales of a console for a week is anywhere close to approaching the sales of a big release of that system in the same period.

      Odds are even if the numbers are close, it is the result of many circumstances and there will be 10 or 100 times the number of previous owners in comparison to the new folks even if I suppose there is a strong reason for new buyers to buy the new thing.

    • subsamuel01

      The Wii U’s largest fan base is in North America so I’m sure it sold a lot more consoles than the Japanese sales numbers.

  • garf02

    its Japan, Consoles are kinda irrelevant there, that being said, WiiU still selling better than PS4 there

    • otakumike

      Well it should be, the WiiU has been out a full year before the ps4. >.>

      • not necessarily. selling better, as in on a quarterly basis, not counting the past sells.

      • Agito

        and yet in areas outside of japan the ps4 sold in total far more than the wii u despite the huge time-gap between the two systems’s release. it was expected that the same would again in japan, but it didn’t.

        • James Enk

          that is the power of hyping up your product and having the trust of the consumers. PS4 right now is not a great console yet it’s selling really well and that is thank to Sony, their marketing and the good rep of their past consoles. Nintendo did the exact opposite bad marketing and lost the trust of the consumer with the Wii

          • garf02

            Sony sold based on marketing and Fear, The whole “we wont have PS4 till Summer” was a nic scheme to push people on the fence to get one as the they might fear not to be able to find one, when games were out.

            Sony capitalized on the shortage Wii Had in 2006, and create a whole artificial “buy now or buy never” situation in the mindset of the consumer s

    • ronin4life

      It may be more accurate to say PS4 is selling even worse than WiiU…

      • subsamuel01

        The Wii U had a year head start and the PS4 still surpassed it in less than 5 months globally. Even the Xbox one is not that far behind.

        • ronin4life

          I meant in Japan, in response to WiiU is doing better than Ps4 In Japan.

          PS4 has sold extremely well world wide, but has flopped hard in Japan. WiiU is doing better than ps4, but not because it is doing so well. Rather, ps4 is doing that bad.

          Though it can also be said WiiU has a more appealing line up in the region… hmm…

          • Cazar

            It’s too soon to say the PS4 has flopped just as it was too soon to say the Wii U had flopped within it’s first year. It’s getting off to a slow start just as the PS3 did over there. Japanese developers have never been as eager to jump ship to new consoles as western developers, and most of those Wii U games are still first party.

            To be frank if the PS4 does completely flop in Japan it’s probably safe to say that the console industry there has flopped entirely. Because the Xbox One sure as hell isn’t going to sell over there and the Wii U can’t carry the industry on its own, especially if it doesn’t make sort of dramatic, steady turn around in sales in the foreseeable future.

          • Fen Y

            Nah, the ps4 just has no games the japanese gamers want. Claiming that this somehow proves the console industry as such flopped there would be really stupid – and wrong.

          • Cazar

            Apparently you didn’t read my comment very well.

            It’s getting off to a slow start just as the PS3 did over there. Japanese developers have never been as eager to jump ship to new consoles as western developers

            To be frank if the PS4 does completely flop in Japan it’s probably safe to say that the console industry there has flopped entirely.

            In simplified summary for you, Japanese developers will transition to the PS4 eventually but if they don’t or their efforts fail then it will be bad for the industry. I was referring to a theoretic future, not the present.

          • darke

            Someone else posted in another thread a graph of the first 13 weeks of sales for WiiU/PS4/3DS and something else. PS4 was pretty much tracking equal to WiiU at the moment, though I think the WiiU had a slightly larger start. 3DS of course was selling significantly better then both.

          • garf02

            yeah..that was me..

            if you see the number, (lines almost mix) PS4 trends below WiiU

  • Agito

    ”but thus far,the game’s effect on Wii U hardware in Japan is rather disappointing”

    the gamers in japan are morely so interested in handheld titles to begin with, from what i have heard. Even nintendo didn’t expect mario kart to be a huge system seller in japan. 325,892 is just 80.90% of its initial shipments in japan. that’s pretty low compared to the amount that other areas usually have in stock.

    and last i heard the wii u does it better in japan than the ps4 despite its low numbers of sales. indicating even more that home consoles are suffering in japan.

    so that 80.90% is actually a pretty decent amount to sell in japan. not to mention that this game is rather timeless in the wii u lifecycle. there is only 1 mario kart on each system. the next one will come out on a new hardware, which will be give or take 3/4 years from now. so in the meantime it will continue on selling. especially during the holiday seasons.

  • Chersea

    Doesn’t Nintendo normally ship extra copies so the game doesn’t run out of print too quickly? Most of their shipments are around 60%, IIRC.

  • Buitronthecrazy .

    come on siliconera, why you only focus on the JAPANESE SALES?

    • Ferrick

      i’m going to quote what ishaan said a few articles ago to the exact same query: “Because Japan are the only ones who gave numeric figure to sales”

    • Anewme…Again

      Siliconera also cover western sales, but only japanese are so open with their games sales number.
      In the west the best they do most of the times is give the top 10 ( or maybe 20 ?)selling games each month and developers/publisher really rarely give sales number.

    • British_Otaku

      There is a Siliconera article about the 666% increase in Wii U sales in the UK as well:

      In addition to focusing on how MK8 sold 1.2 in the opening weekend.

      I may disagree of how the sales are perceived but “only focusing on Japanese sales” is a harsh claim, especially when it is the only measurement with numbers.

    • J_Joestar

      they pretty much cover them as the reports on sales numbers come in. they can hardly be blamed for the timing and order in which they reports become public.

    • SetzerGabbiani

      Because NPD stopped publicly releasing sales figures years ago….I’m talking before Matt Cassamassina left IGN years ago.

  • J_Joestar

    quite interesting though, sure the Wii U sales increase wasn’t as stellar as we all hoped, but the fact that it had a 81% sell through means that their shipment numbers weren’t that far off the mark.

  • James Enk

    maybe the news are not great for the WiiU but they are at least good. now i am curious to learn if MK8 manages to helps the console in the west

  • Aaron K Stone

    I think this speaks more about Japans dwindling interest in consoles. Western sales should be more concerning to them.

    • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

      True. I want to here sales in the West and how many Wii U’s were sold. Not simply a statistic. 1.2 million in a weekend worldwide is fantastic though.

  • MagiusNecros

    Siliconera needs to remember that the sales data basically only covers 3 days of sales due to the release period. Another point is that the slight boost the 3 days of MK8 sales gave to Wii U it was a shitty hardware week overall. On the console end the Wii U sold more then all the other consoles combined. I think for a more accurate assessment we will need to see the sales data for Japan next week and then gauge an initial performance. But do keep an open mind that games like Mario Kart tend to keep on selling over long periods of time. And also note that MK8 sold 1.2 million give or take worldwide. Which is a 20% attach rate to a “dead system” which is a feat in itself if the 6 million Wii U’s sold claim is accurate. And the fact there is no JP bundle unlike in the NA and EUR regions. And that is all I have to say on the matter.

    • zweii

      Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t mk8 released may 29, a thursday, the day all videogames are released in japan. It was the release date listed on the media create site or were you saying they are wrong? It was only outside of japan that it was released on a Friday or saturday.

      • MagiusNecros

        It seems you are correct. Though retailers in the EUR and some in the NA region broke street date. Unsure if Japan did the same. But I still would like to see next week’s sales data for Japan. Console Hardware this week was pretty meh.

  • FivePointedTheStar

    It seems like the people who bought Mario Kart 8 (in Japan and this sales period) were mostly people who already had a Wii U. Any more assumptions after that are sketchy at best.

    • They’re looking for longevity. These types of games keep selling on the long run, and frankly any new purchase is a purchase gained on the WiiU front.

      • FivePointedTheStar

        I agree with. Nintendo seems to stick to one MarioKart per console/handheld. Considering that MKWii STILL sells that’s saying something.

  • Guest

    You know what, I’m really happy for Nintendo on this one.
    I’m kinda close to buying a Wii U. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for it would probably have sealed the deal months ago though.

  • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

    What this shows is that the Mario Kart brand is still strong, however, it was not enough to move consoles. Yet, Japan has been having difficulty with console systems overall in comparison to handhelds or mobile devices.

    I think we will have to see once more games are released for the PS4 and the introduction of the Xbox One to see where consoles are really going here.

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