Nintendo isn’t a player in the race to have the best-selling console, but it’s games are still finding big audiences.
The company reported today that Wii U hardware sales were up 29 percent compared to 2013. Software, meanwhile, increased 75 percent year-over-year. Nintendo’s two big 2014 releases can take credit for helping both of those numbers. In the U.S., the publisher confirmed that it sold 1.7 million copies of Mario Kart 8 and 1.3 million copies of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Nintendo also noted that the 3DS had a “strong” December, but it didn’t provide any numbers for the hardware performance. The company did say that the month was the biggest ever for 3DS software with Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and the new Pokémon games leading the way. Console gaming is a $50 billion market worldwide, and Nintendo is trying to carve out its own niche to capture as much of that as possible.
Nintendo of America marketing boss Scott Moffitt confirmed in a statement that 2014 was the Wii U’s best year yet. The console debuted in 2012, and it got off to a slow start, but Nintendo has worked to improve its library of games. That has slowly won over a significant portion of players.
The publisher provided some other highlights for its year. It noted that over 16 3DS releases have surpassed 250,000 copies sold. Three of those have surpassed 1 million copies.
Looking at the competition in the handheld sector, it isn’t even close. The top 15 best-selling handheld games were all on the 3DS. The PlayStation Vita couldn’t claim even one.