Nintendo’s four-player fighting game is still the reigning champ in Japan.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is outselling everything else in Nintendo’s home country, according to the Japanese game-tracking company Media Create. The brawler is one of the publisher’s most popular games. It has players taking control of beloved characters like Mario and Donkey Kong to come out on top in a punching-and-kicking free-for-all. Since its Sept. 13 debut, Smash Bros. has sold 1.2 million copies. That makes it easily one of the biggest games of the year on any platform in Japan.
Smash’s success has also helped Nintendo’s handheld sell extraordinarily well. From Sept. 15 through Sept. 21, Nintendo sold 35,622 3DS XLs. That is on top of the 7,970 standard 3DSes the company sold.
Nailing a big launch for Smash Bros. on its handheld platform is likely very important to Nintendo. The company lost $229 million during its last fiscal year, and it needs to squeeze every dollar it can from its massive fighting game franchise. It looks like it is on the path to do that. While Smash for 3DS is moving software and hardware, Nintendo will likely continue that momentum in Japan when it launches the New 3DS, a completely revised version of the handheld, in October.
Later this year, potentially in late November or in December, Nintendo will release Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. That game has the potential to also move a ton of software and hardware.
Nintendo still hasn’t announced a firm release date for the Wii U Smash Bros., and the 3DS version’s strong performance is actually making that look like a good idea. With fans of the franchise unsure of when the high-definition console version will debut, many of them probably ran into the arms of the portable game. Nintendo’s silence on the Wii U Smash release date now seems like a deliberate ploy to keep excitement for the handheld game as high as possible. With 1.2 million copies sold, it is working in Japan.
Smash Bros. for 3DS will debut in North America on Oct. 3. Nintendo will probably keep the release date for Smash Bros. for Wii U quiet at least until then.