10 million strong…and growing

wii-play

Nintendo announced in a press release on March 19th that their game, Wii Play, had surpassed 10 million units in the United States alone. This makes Wii Play the top selling game of the current console war. However, it still has a ways to go to catch up to Nintendo’s biggest moneymakers; Wii Sports and Super Mario Bros. Both games, which have had the unfair advantage of being packaged with their respective systems, have sold over 40 million units a piece.

This brings to light the question though, “Are these games really selling that well?” With Wii Sports and Super Mario Bros. the answer is a resounding “yes”. The former for its nostalgic play and the latter for having some of the easiest pick up and play seen in years. But Wii Play is another story. Marketed as nine games and an extra Wii mote, the package seems to be a steal at $49.99. After all, the Wii mote by itself is $39.99. So for ten dollars more you get nine games! That’s only slightly over a dollar per game! Wow!

And that was the line I used to feed customers and they’d buy it , the poor sods. Even now, that bit of deception makes me feel dirty. Yes, technically, they were getting nine games but Wii Play is a classic example of you get what you pay for. Unlike Wii Sports which is easy to learn but still deep enough to be fun after fifteen minutes, the majority of the Wii Play games seem like filler that shouldn’t have been allowed to go gold in the first place. Of course, one could argue that for slightly over a buck any amount of fun that can be gleamed is worth it.

But it just strikes me as cheating for Nintendo to go on and on about how well this game is doing. Like it’s some paradigm at which future programmers should aim for. Sure it’s sold 10 million units, but it wasn’t for the games. It was for the controller. When this glaringly obvious aspect was put to Nintendo, their response was, “Even if you believe people are buying Wii Play solely for the controller, that indicates that there are now more than 10 million people who have an extra Wii Remote controller in their homes. When added to the 12.7 million Wii Remote controllers that have sold separately, this reinforces the growing ‘social gaming’ trend we have been seeing where friends and family use their Wii games as a social hub– both in person and online.”

Well played Nintendo. Well played indeed.

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One Response

  1. […] Massive Playstation Resources placed an observative post today on 10 million strong…and growingHere’s a quick excerptBoth games, which have had the unfair advantage of being packaged with their respective systems, have sold over 40 million units a piece. […]

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