Happy new year everyone, and welcome to an all-new week of Media Create sales analyses! Apologies for disappearing in the final couple of weeks, but the holidays make for odd timing overall. Definitely not the best time to get out 2-3,000 word sales analyses.
But, overall, I can give the highlights. Last year was dynamite for Nintendo, whose Switch console blew past the Wii U’s lifetime sales in under a year, and already has several platinum-sellers on the platform. Meanwhile, the 3DS is continuing to hold the fort, as it closes in on 24 million lifetime sales. Splatoon 2 has been a full-fledged phenomenon, and may become the first Japanese console game to break the double-platinum milestone since 2010’s Wii Party.
The PS4, meanwhile, has seen sales soar in the holiday run-up, as it finally surpassed the Vita in lifetime sales. We should see that crack the six-million mark within the next 1-2 sales periods.
Heck, even the XBox had a turnaround in its past three weeks, using that holiday glow to bring sales back into triple-digits. keep it up, Microsoft… you may see 100K sales one day. OK, you probably won’t, but chin up.
Anyway, who’s ready for some stats?
Ninten-domination set the stage for the new year, with titles on the Big N’s hardware claiming an astounding seventeen titles this period. Of those, eleven were Switch games, and six were 3DS titles.
At the front of the pack, kids and squids continue to take their game to the splattlefield with Splatoon 2 (Switch). The squiddly shooter sold through 117,840 units this week (1,882,709 LTD) to take an easy first place. The title is well on-track toward the two million mark: something that hasn’t been reached by a console game since 2010, when Wii Party hit retailers. This is huge, given that the general games market has been down over the previous decade due to shifting customer demands, as well as consumption taxes which have driven up the costs of video games over the past years. To see a title bring in this many buyers is nothing short of shocking.
Speaking of shocking sales, Mario and Cappy continue to bring big thrills to the charts. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) moved 110,816 units this period (1,508,148 LTD) to take a close second place. Much like Splatoon, Odyssey is on a sharp upward trajectory, with a very real chance of hitting that two-million mark. The title’s quickly become one of the fastest-selling titles on the Switch, and shows no signs of slowing down. I’m excited to see exactly when this one will break that two-million mark, once all is said and done.
Mario made a second appearance in the top-3, and this time around, he brought his racing buddies. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) skidded to a stylish third-place finish, with 82,806 units sold. And, honestly, I see the good times continuing for this one. Mario Kart 8 has proven itself to be an evergreen seller a second time, and continues to pull in new audiences by the week. And, really, it’s trending far above my previous estimates of “a million by early 2018” – I was actually expecting that million mark to be hit about now, so to see it sitting pretty at 1.2 million is nothing short of fantastic.
Not far behind, it looks like trainers are still marking Alola on their list of “go-to” destinations. Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon (3DS) held on to the #4 space, with 69,355 copies reaching customers (1,477,015 LTD). We should see this one crack the 1.5 million mark by March, given the expected January slowdowns. And, much like with Mario Kart, this one’s trending far above expectations. Last check I had estimated a 1.25 million sales by this point, so to se it ready to crack 1.5 million is simply super.
Meanwhile, the party continues without slowing down as it enters its second week. Mario Party: The Top 100 (3DS) clung to fifth place, pushing 51,818 copies over the week (103,999 LTD). What’s more astounding, though, is the title’s 1% week-2 drop. The hold is nothing short of spectacular, especially considering that this was seen as a title that was being marched out to die in the packed holiday season. After all, we’re basically looking at a “best of” compilation of the franchise’s minigames. So, while it’s currently selling, once the winter doldrums set in, I do expect a fairly sharp decline.
For those looking to get their ghost mode on, Yo-kai Watch Busters 2: Hihou Legend Banbarayaa – Sword / Magnum (3DS) continues to be a go-to for 3DS owners. The title, wich moved 34,565 copies this time around (465,985 LTD), managed to spirit away to sixth place when all was said and done. While sales seem low for a Yo-kai Watch game, I’m not exactly concerned about the title’s performance yet. The first Yo-kai Watch Busters game saw a similarly quiet launch, but became a consistent seller through 2015 and parts of 2016. I do see it easily cracking 500K, and definitely approaching that 750K milestone pretty easily, given its current trajectory, even after we calculate the expected “January doldrums” drop.
Nearly a year out, the Hylian Champion continues to explore the wilds of Hyrule. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) clung to the #7 space this time around, with 31,761 units sold (802,811 LTD). At the moment, we’re closing in on a full year in the charts for this epic launch-title, not to mention the first (new) million-seller in the Zelda franchise in ages. Though the title does face some challenges as we get to that first anniversary, I am hopeful that we’ll see this one continue to hang tough until March.
Speaking of surprising sales, Dr. Coyle has managed to bring the springy slugfests of ARMS (Switch) back into the regular sales rotation. Nintendo’s one-on-one fighter managed to move another 25,374 copies this period (339,328 LTD) to take eighth place. Honestly, the sales curve on this one has been incredibly fascinating. With every content patch, we’d see it bounce back into the charts for a short spell, and it seems to consistently lurk just below the #20 spot in weeks where it doesn’t make the cut. With this being the final content patch (that we know of), I do wonder if we’ll see another comeback, or if it will finally go down for the count once it exits the big board. Still, for a new franchise in a hyper-niche genre, 339K is nothing to sneeze at. Nintendo has lain the groundwork for something special with this game, and I do hope that we’ll see Spring Man and Ribbon Girl make their return at some point.
A bit further back, it looks like folks are still finding fun in rolling balls, having wizard duels, and playing the game that’s only known as “Milk.” 1-2-Switch dipped to ninth place, pushing 21,104 units this week (371,033 LTD). The title continues to be a consistent, if irregular sight in the charts, popping up when hardware sales run hot. I do expect that we’ll see this one crack the 400K mark, though it might happen just outside the top-20, if sales cool down in the January drop.
The Pink Puffball is ready to throw down once again. Kirby Battle Royale rose like a UFO to 11th place this period, with 14,561 copies reaching customers (139,564 LTD). More interesting, though, is the fact that we’re looking at a 50% rise, week-over-week, which could give this one hope of reaching the 150K mark before it dives out of the charts. I’ll be watching this as sales calm down from their holiday highs, as I’m not sure if the legs are temporary or if this is a full-fledged sales revival.
On a similar note, Tom Nook continues to bring the bells with each passing week. Animal Crossing: New Leaf‘s “Welcome amiibo” SKU (3DS) kicked back at the #13 space this time around, with 13,208 units sold (357,703 LTD). The title, like Kirby, saw a massive gain this period, with a 66% week-over-week jump. More interesting, though, is the fact that the title managed to crush that 350K barrier. This is, as I’ve said in the past, the fourth re-release of a game that first hit in 2012. Six years later, this game continues to draw in new audiences. Simply unreal.
A bit further back, Pika-pals across Japan are screaming “My main is FIGHT!” Pokken Tournament DX (Switch) shifted another 12,553 copies this week (204,038 LTD) to take the #14 space. The title cracked that elusive 200K mark, and continues to show healthy sales as we enter the new year. While I don’t expect this one to crack 250K, given expected slowdowns, it’s certainly performed admirably given its status is a port of a Wii U game that already sold more than 100,000 units. Kudos, Nintendo and Bandai Namco. Kudos.
Speaking of admirable performance, Rex and Pyra continue to bring adventure and excitement to fans across Japan. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch) dropped down tot he #15 space, pushing 11,483 units this period (168,200 LTD). And, honestly, Xenoblade is in a unique place. Partly through good word-of-mouth and partly through a cartridge shortage, the title’s managed to really elevate itself and find a niche in the Switch ecosystem. I do expect sales to decline quickly once we get deeper into January, but to see it come close to 200K in Japan is nothing short of fantastic. The legs are strong, and the title is on track to beat out both previous entries in the franchise. In short, Monolith should be quite happy with the results so far. Things are looking up for this plucky RPG series.
Meanwhile, the quirky world of San-X continues to draw folks in. Sumikko Gurashi: Sumikko Park e Youkoso (Switch) jumped back into the big board, with 9,505 copies reaching customers (47,989 LTD). Funny enough, this is actually higher than the title’s launch week (9,435 week-1). The sales, given the overall audience, remain fairly healthy. This should crack 50K lifetime, which isn’t bad, all things considered.
A bit further back, folks are learning to cut it out… together! Snipperclips Plus: Cut it Out, Together! (Switch) shifted 9,290 copies this period, which was enough to snip up 18th place.
On a more suprising note, it looks like footie is back in fashion this year. FIFA 18 moved 8,915 units (71,698 LTD) to take the #19 space. More interesting, though, is the fact that lifetime sales are starting to catch up to the PS4 version. Given that the Switch SKU started far lower, this is an encouraging trend, overall. I am curious to see how lifetime sales for the title end up working out.
At the back of the pack, it looks like the styling stars are returning for one last hurrah. Style Savvy: Styling Star (3DS) climbed back to 20th place with 8,639 copies reaching customers (119,777 LTD).
On the Hardware Front
This was another banner week for the Switch, which sold through 146,006 units (3,458,625 LTD). We should see it crush that 3.5 million mark next sales period. More impressive, though, is the fact that the console destroyed the Wii U’s lifetime sales over the course of just nine months. Yes, this happened last week, but I can’t help but be amazed, nonetheless. The Switch’s future looks incredibly bright, at this point.
The 3DS, meanwhile, continues to keep a strong presence. The handheld moved 45,737 units (23,868,516 LTD) to take a hard-fought third place. Of those, 28,237 are 2DS XL units.
The PlayStation family managed to claim three spots this time around, with two PS4 games and a Vita title making the cut.
At the front of the pack, we see that the only good bug is still a dead bug. Earth Defense Force 5 (PS4) held the front lines at the #10 space, with 19,948 units sold (201,414 LTD). The title saw a 21% jump this period, which was just enough to get it past that 200K sales milestone. As of now, the game’s enjoying decent legs, but I do wonder how well it will perform once the January declines start to set in. Regardless, it’s already had a fantastic run, so I’m looking forward to charting its progress going forward.
Not far behind, soldiers continue to pop open loot boxes on Omaha Beach. Call of Duty: WWII (PS4) rose to the #12 space, moving 13,305 copies during the week (362,009 LTD). As of now, Call of Duty has found itself a comfortable set of legs. I do wonder how things will fare as we enter the new year, particularly since we have a few heavy hitters launching in January, like Monster Hunter World and Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT.
At the back of the line, it looks like a blocky little friend has returned once again. Minecraft (Vita) bounced to the #16 spot, with 9,517 copies reaching customers (1,273,777 LTD).
On the Hardware Front
The PlayStation 4 had a fantastic week this time around, with 91,683 consoles sold (5,984,086 LTD). Of those, 16,339 were PS4 Pro consoles. Expect to see the PS4 break the big six million mark next week, which will be cause for celebration.
The Vita, meanwhile, held on to fourth place, with 11,929 units reaching customers (5,799,809 LTD).
In the world of British TV, 199 Park Lane was a soap opera which ran on BBC in 1965. The series, spanned 18 episodes, though none are known to still exist as BBC had wiped the tapes for reuse.
With 199 XBox One consoles sold, some poor Microsoft employee is likely hoping that his department doesn’t suddenly disappear, as well… especially when you consider that, of those, nine were XBox One X consoles. No, really.