A console is only ever as successful as its games and this is an area where Nintendo still faces some difficulties, despite the immense popularity of the original Wii. Developers are loathed to develop new games when console sales are slow but without the new games, sales figures won’t increase. For the most part, Nintendo relies on its own games to help push its consoles.
The 3DS was hailed for its glasses-free 3D screen but this wasn’t enough to give it the kind of sales that Nintendo had hoped. Initially, results were slow and disappointing.
However, recent but unofficial figures suggest that games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf and a rush of Mario and Donkey King titles may have helped reverse the fortunes of the handheld console. The figures show 800,000 retail sales during the first six months of the year, with the majority coming in May and June.
Despite this upturn in game sales, though, it is still selling less than the original DS was at this point in its life.
The Wii U is another disappointing story for Nintendo. Where the original Wii was loved for its innovative motion sensor controls, the Wii U utilises a touchscreen controller that has proven much less popular. It has also suffered the same game problem as its smaller cousin.
3.2m PS3 games were sold during the first half of the year along with 4.3m Xbox 360 games. Even the Wii was responsible for 650,000 game sales and the Vita racked up 198,000 software sales. Wii U game sales were below all of these figures at 179,000 which indicates that gamers simply aren’t displaying the same level of love for this version of the console as Nintendo would have hoped.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is one title that that console and games manufacturer hopes may further turn around the fortunes of the 3DS. It is more RPG than previous releases and some franchise lovers will find it a little odd having to level Mario up from an inexperienced level 1 hero. However, it has all of the essentials for a Mario title – humour, fun and attractive graphics, and great game design. It is almost sure to shine with gamers of all experience levels and preferences.
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