After a shaky first year, the growth of Nintendo’s Wii U – in the wake of impressive sales of Mario Kart 8, which doubled sales of the console – continues with the success of Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, which has sold over 490,000 copies in just three days since its release, making it the fastest-selling Wii U game in the console’s short history.
Nintendo hope that another rise in console sales – like with Mario Kart 8 – is set to follow Super Smash Bros.’ strong showing. But Nintendo have another potential cash cow ace up their sleeve, that they hope will benefit from proximity to Super Smash Bros., called Amiibo. Amiibo are a series of character figures – such as Link from the Zelda games, or Fox from the eponymous Star Fox series – similar to the Skylander figurines, that can connect to Wii U or 3DS via NFC. They are compatible with Super Smash Bros. and offers players stats boosts and unlockable content.
Game maker Nintendo doesn’t plan to throw in the towel on its Wii U game unit, and plans to heavily promote it moving forward. Company officials hope the Wii U has reached its tipping point, battling through lackluster sales and difficult hardships, and can now appeal to mainstream gamers.
Nintendo recently said the company didn’t plan a Wii U price cut anytime soon – possibly saving a price reduction until the 2014 Christmas holiday shopping season.
When recently asked if Nintendo would consider shifting gears and a console refresh, Nintendo America Reggie Fils-Aime dismissed the idea:
“I say, ‘no.’ And the reason I say that is because we believe the Wii U has a very long life ahead of it. It’s got great content coming that will help define the platform. For us, we think the 3DS is a very illustrative example. It wasn’t just the price cut. It was having great content that started with Kart 7 and 3D Land and then progressed and created a larger and larger footprint.”
The Japanese game maker must work to improve the Wii U’s game catalog, because gamers have complained about a lack of appealing titles. Mario Kart 8 is a solid step in the right direction, but much of the focus has been on Microsoft and Sony since the release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, respectively.