Nintendo 3DS

Older Fans Skipped Out On Yoshi’s New Island In Japan


Last week, Nintendo released Yoshi’s New Island in Japan, and the Nintendo 3DS platformer sold just 58,285 copies in its first week. Japanese sales tracker Media Create added in a supplementary report that the game sold through 57.59% of its shipment.


In comparison, the last Yoshi game, 2007’s Yoshi’s Island DS, sold 303,114 copies at launch, and sold through 84.82% of its shipment at launch. Clearly, Yoshi’s New Island has not sold nearly as well, but Media Create say it’s hard to make an informed comparison between the two games.


Like we did earlier in the week, Media Create point out that Yoshi’s New Island is part of the “Monthly Recommended Software Campaign” for 3DS in Japan. From July 24th—the day of the game’s release—until the end of August, anyone that buys a new Nintendo 3DS in Japan can download Yoshi’s New Island for free.


During the week of the game’s release, the 3DS sold 38,445 units, so that is potentially the number of “lost” sales due to the campaign. Of course, even taking those lost sales into account, the game’s debut is far lower than Yoshi’s Island DS, and that needs to be addressed.


Media Create say one major difference reported by retailers is that Yoshi’s Island DS sold to both younger and older fans of the Mario series. Meanwhile, Yoshi’s New Island has a narrower audience that comprises primarily of a younger demographic.


Just why older players haven’t picked the new game up isn’t explained, but my theory is that Yoshi’s Island DS sold to an older audience because of nostalgia. The game was a throwback to the SNES Yoshi’s Island, so perhaps older players bought it out of fondness for the original game they played all those years ago. New Island didn’t have that nostalgia going for it, so maybe none of the older fans bothered picking it up.


Media Create add that Yoshi’s Island DS eventually went on to sell 1 million copies in Japan, and since the new game is selling primarily to a younger audience, they’re curious to see how it will perform over the summer holidays, when kids have the time to buy and play more games.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.