It is no secret that sales for the Wii U have not been as good as what Nintendo had hoped. Despite what some may think, the system is far from dead. In fact, all the system really needs is one killer game to help boost sales and make it a hot item again. Well, it appears Japan has just received such a game. Pikmin 3 has launched in Japan, and with it, sales for the Wii U have nearly doubled.
So what is Pikmin 3? This is a real-time strategy game created by legendary game developer Shigeru Miyamoto. This is the same mastermind who developed other key franchises for Nintendo, such as Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong. In Pikmin 3, players take control of three space explorers who have been sent to look for food for their dying home world. In order to collect this food, the space explorers use small plant-like creatures called Pikmin. Using these Pikmin, the explorers harvest fruit and seeds to take back home so they can grow their own food.
Since this is a real-time strategy game, users will control not only the explorer but also a large group of Pikmin. You will use these Pikmin to battle enemies as well as carry fruit back to your space ship. Since Pikmin are so small, it takes multiple Pikmin to carry one piece of fruit. Players have to find the right balance of Pikmin who are available to carry fruit and those who are available to fight.
Pikmin 3 offers a lot of new features over the previous installments in the franchise. First, players can now use the Wii U Gamepad for touch controls. This makes interacting with groups of Pikmin easier than ever before. The game also features new Pikmin types like Rock and Winged Pikmin. There are even new multiplayer games that keep you coming back for more long after you beat the game.
Pikmin 3 has proven that all you need is one killer game to turn things around. Sales data released by Media Creates shows that, for the week of July 8, Pikmin 3 was the best selling game in all of Japan. In fact, the game was able to sell 92,720 units. It nearly doubled the second best-selling game of the week, which was also a Nintendo game: Level 5’s Youkai Watch. This 3DS game sold 53,654 units.
However, the best news for Nintendo might be the fact that Pikmin 3 has also boosted Wii U sales. According to the same report, Wii U sales more than doubled from the previous week, 22,199 units. This was up from just over 8,000 the week before. Despite seeing such a huge increase in sales, the Wii U was still only the second best-selling system of the week. However, this should not bother Nintendo considering the fact that the best-selling system of the week was the 3DS LL (which is known as the 3DS XL in America); it sold 43,435 units.
With the 3DS dominating the hand-held market and the Wii U getting new legs, Nintendo finds itself in a pretty good position. Things look like they can only keep improving for Nintendo at this point as other hit games are scheduled to come out this year, such as Super Smash Bros. and Super Mario 3D World.