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Sure, Nintendo is embracing the mobile future, but that doesn’t mean it has forgotten about its dedicated hardware platforms yet.
The company had a strong March in the United States thanks to the continuing surge of the New 3DS XL handheld and a few popular games. The company had one new release last month in the Wii U multiplayer game Mario Party 10, which sold 290,000 digital and physical copies. That helped sell a few more Wii Us, and the 3DS continued selling itself.
“The New Nintendo 3DS XL system continues to inject growth into Nintendo’s hand-held business, and the momentum created for Wii U in 2014 has carried over into 2015,” reads a Nintendo statement. “Take these two elements, add in fun, exclusive titles starring some of the biggest names in gaming, and overall sales of Nintendo hardware systems so far in 2015 have increased by nearly 60 percent over sales during the same time frame in 2014.”
Nintendo said that the Wii U’s sales have grown by 20 percent through the first three months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. The 3DS has grown by 80 percent during that same time frame.
Outside of the hardware and the one new game, Nintendo continues to see strong sales from its older games.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, one of Nintendo’s best-selling games from 2014, sold another 110,000 copies in March in the States. That brings its U.S. total to 2.4 million. Smash Bros. for Wii U is also selling well — it’s now at 1.6 million copies in America. Mario Kart 8 has sold 1.9 million copies since launching in the U.S. almost one year ago.
Nintendo’s Zelda franchise is still hot. The company recently announced it is delaying Zelda for Wii U, but The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, the remake for the 3DS, sold another 184,000 last month in the U.S. That brings its total to 730,000 copies sold.
“[Majora’s Mask 3D] would make the top 10 software list when ranked on a SKU basis rather than a title basis,” Liama Callahan, analyst with industry-tracking firm The NPD Group, said. That means Zelda was one of the 10 best-selling games for a single system as opposed to combining the sales for multiplatform releases.
Now, it’s just up to Nintendo to carry this momentum forward, which is not something that is will have an easy time doing. The Wii U definitely doesn’t have a ton coming out this year, and we wrote about why it looks like Nintendo is already done with the hardware. The publisher will release games like Splatoon in May and Mario Maker in the fall, but those are not big-time releases like Zelda, Mario Kart, or Smash Bros.
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