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Pikmin 3’s Effect on Wii U Sales in Japan – Updated

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In the four weeks Pikmin 3 has been out in Japan, Wii U sales have risen 117% from the previous four weeks. Get the full statistical break-down below. 

***Update*** August 23rd, 2013

I’ve expanded the data to include the previous eight weeks before Pikmin 3’s release in Japan. In addition to that, I’ve also updated the current Wii U sales after Pikmin 3’s release.

Eight Weeks Before Pikmin 3 (Wii U systems sold a week – Japan)

Week 1: 6,037

Week 2: 5,648

Week 3: 6,680

Week 4: 6,330

Four Weeks Before Pikmin 3 (Wii U systems sold a week – Japan)

Week 1: 5983 

Week 2: 5329

Week 3: 7060

Week 4: 8251 

Six Weeks After Pikmin 3 (Wii U systems sold a week – Japan)

Week 1: 22,199

Week 2: 14,280

Week 3: 11,373

Week 4: 10,038

Week 5: 9,950

Week 6: 12,047

***Update*** Added August 23rd, 2013

In the six weeks since Pikmin 3 has been released, the Wii U has averaged 13,314.5 units sold a week. In the eight weeks prior to Pikmin 3 being released the Wii U averaged 6,414.75 units sold a week.

In the previous eight weeks before Pikmin 3 launched in Japan, the Wii U totaled 51,318 units sold. In the six weeks after Pikmin 3’s release in Japan, the Wii U has totaled 79,887 units sold. In two fewer weeks, the Wii U has sold 28,569 units more.

It’s getting harder and harder to say Pikmin 3 has not been a ‘system seller’ for Nintendo. The data just contradicts that statement. 

Another interesting thing to note is Nintendo is well on its way to crushing their abysmal 160,000 units sold in Q1. In Japan alone, Nintendo has sold 79,887 Wii U’s since Pikmin 3’s release in Japan on July 13th. About half of the worldwide total for their Q1 sales they reported. Sales in America and Europe have went up since Pikmin 3’s release as well.

Original Story 

As you can see, Pikmin 3 has had a nice effect on Wii U sales in Japan. While not the biggest jump, it’s significant nonetheless. And most importantly, proves that software sells hardware.

In the four weeks prior to Pikmin 3 being released, the Wii U sold a total of 26,623 combined units in Japan. In the four weeks after Pikmin 3 was launched, the Wii U has sold 57,890 units, resulting in a 117% increase over the previous four weeks before Pikmin 3 launched.

Some interesting side notes from this data and on Pikmin in general. 

– In the previous four weeks before Pikmin 3 launched, the Wii U never broke over 8,500 units sold. Nor did Nintendo ever average over 10,000 units sold like the firm did in the four weeks after Pikmin 3’s launch.

– No Pikmin title has ever broken over 2 million units sold worldwide. The Media Create sales charts have Pikmin 3 around 145,735 units sold at retail in Japan. That is not counting digital sales. The Wii U has a user base a little over a million units in Japan. That means Pikmin 3 has a attach rate of at least 14% not counting digital sales.

– Wii U sales have dropped each week since Pikmin 3’s release, but sales are well over the average of the previous two months prior to Pikmin 3 being released. In other words, Pikmin 3  is carrying the console by itself right now.

Conclusion – Pikmin 3 “HELPS” sell Wii U consoles, therefore is a “system seller” for many people.

Overall, quality content can have a nice effect on sales. With more software like Yakuza 1&2 HD, Rayman Legends, and The Wonderful 101 within the next 30 days, the Wii U sales are well on their way to recovery in Japan. Pikmin is by no means Nintendo’s top franchise either.

Sonic Lost World, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, Wii Fit U, Wii Party U, The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker HD, and Super Mario 3D World are all slated to come to the Wii U this year. Bayonetta 2, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, Super Smash Bros for Wii U, and Mario Kart 8 are dropping in 2014.

If Pikmin, a second tier franchise can boost sales like this, imagine how the franchises I listed above will do for Wii U sales.

What do you guys think about these numbers? Put your thoughts in the comments section below.

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76 Responses to Pikmin 3’s Effect on Wii U Sales in Japan – Updated

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  36. Sarah Clemment says:

    There may be other contributing factors, such as price drops, etc. But I bought it for Pikmin 3.

  37. […] media in the world, so Activsion made its way to the bank with that title. Also, the sales of the WiiU have picked up drastically. Want more proof? Look at any E-Sports competition or fighting game competition. Massive, obscene […]

  38. blessingstoall777 says:

    Yeah lol. It was silly for people to count Nintendo of all companies out.

    • Matthew Wesley says:

      Yeah… a company that's been in gaming for over thirty years doesn't understand their market… the doubters don't seem to understand or live in reality.

  39. gamenchick says:

    I still find it funny, Pikmin 3 isnt really considered a ''big hitter'' in a sense and it moved consoles in Japan this much. I'm just wondering how much the actual big hitter titles are going to push the sales if Pikmin 3 can move them this much

  40. blessingstoall777 says:

    You know… This is my short obvservation about the whole WIIU fiasco since launch. All the sony/ms/pc fanboys were traumatized from last gen's total Nintendo domination of wii(an underpowered console) and it utterly destroyed the competition. These anti-Nintendo consumers were terribly distraught(I hope I spelled that right =)… so they were all expecting a wii-like sales explosion, and if it didn't happen they were ready to tear it a new bunhole for it. Being that it didn't sell like the wii(Even though it did better than sony/ms launch in the same time frame)…

    • blessingstoall777 says:

      that was enough for them to join in on the trolling.
      Then we got lazy ass devz putting out half ass efforts with zero optimizations, and trolls naturally used that to further their ass-hurtness, and bombardment of the WIIU. All these trolls and drones, are nothing more than a bunch of hurt fanboys who just haven't gotten over the RAPE from Nintendo, and the trolls don't mind as long as its not another Nintendo home console doing the ass tearing lmao! Well unfortunately for them… this is just the beginning of their ass-ramming with impalements of rainforest sized trees decorated with millions of razor blades and rusty nails for their trollish enjoyment.
      I told them never to mess with The Samurai-Ninja Clans from Heaven! Now its too late for them!

  41. donzaloog says:

    I'm so glad to see this. With W101 and much more coming soon it should only be uphill from here.

  42. timg57867 says:

    In case anyone's wondering, just like in Japan, NoA is still running Pikmin 3 ads on TV just like NoJ is. I am on vacation in Florida and I saw the ad again on TV a few minutes ago. I am expecting the first week sales for Pikmin in America to be the biggest. It launched on Sunday so it'll have all week to track and won't get snapped from having its first week sales being caught between two weeks.

  43. pm60 says:

    pikmin 3 is like the wii u's very own kid icarus uprising. a revival of an old IP that sells consoles. pikmin 3 has been making the wii u sales great! does anyone know how yakuza 1 & 2 effected sales or is that in next weeks sales charts?

  44. Link says:

    "Conclusion – Pikmin 3 “HELPS” sell Wii U consoles, therefore is a “system seller” for many people."

    This is something so many people need to finally understand. The term "system seller" isn't exclusive to games from extremely popular franchises that sell several million copies. Many games that don't sell as much – even niche games – can still be considered system sellers, as they build the library of the console and increase its appeal to people with all kinds of tastes.

    One great game didn't make the 3DS the successful system it is today, it was dozens of them from a wide variety of genres released on a regular basis. It's all about reaching that "critical mass" of software that Iwata was talking about and not one big game that will somehow convince everyone to buy a system regardless of the other available games.

  45. […] Laut den jüngsten Media-Create-Charts kommt "Pikmin 3" auf eine bisherige Verkaufszahl von 145.735 Einheiten (exkl. Digitalverkäufe), was gleichzeitig bedeutet, dass in Japan etwa 14 Prozent der Wii U-Besitzer eine Retail-Version des Titels in den eigenen Besitz brachten. Weitere Statistiken zu diesem Thema findet ihr hier. […]

  46. […] Pikmin has manged to more than double the Wii U’s sales in the region. Our friends over at PlayerEssence took the liberty to organize and lay this information […]

  47. Zen Gamer says:

    Someone show this article to Adam Sessler. "Pikmin doesn't move consoles!" Remember?

  48. shokio says:

    Good article man. May I source your side-notes? I want to do an article on this as well.

    • Furious Francis says:

      Yes! Please Shokio, you can rip the whole thing if you want. Just link it.

      I want as many people to know about this as possible. Pikmin 3 is selling quite well in Japan, and without Digital Sales taken into consideration, it's very impressive.

      What happens when the big guns like DKC, Sonic, Mario, ect show up?

      • shokio says:

        You should totally do a response vid to Blackbond with this info lol.

        • Furious Francis says:

          I would, but he would just damage control that vid, it's a never ending cycle with him.

          • UncannyOmninaut says:

            Don't bother with B0nd, since it would be just more of the same pointless back and forth with him.

        • sparkticle says:

          Shokio, you of all people should know that messing with BlackBond is a waste of time.

          • Furious Francis says:

            He argued for 5 hours that Nintendo's financial reports don't have the sales numbers of individual games on there.

            Yet its right on page 3, Bond is a self absorbed idiot

          • sparkticle says:

            I actually saw that, and I decided not to get involved in the argument. Arguing with him is like arguing with a brick wall. You're not going to get anything out of him, because he will only listen to whatever he says (which makes no sense most of the time).

          • Maestro says:

            Jus forget about him, don't mention him anymore.

  49. sparkticle says:

    It's actually normal for Japan to have a rapid boost of console sales, then a drop. That always happens in Japan. With many PS3 and Wii games it happened too. Wii U right now is doing like it should have been doing for the past year. Some take this year as the official launch year for the Wii U.

    • RicardJulianti says:

      Just like how the PS4 won't technically launch in Japan until FFXV is released. They seriously have nothing for the Japanese audience anywhere near launch.

      • sparkticle says:

        Yeah, I doubt Mad Max, Killzone, InFAMOUS and Drive Club will sell many units in Japan. I doubt they will be good games at all. I mean, InFAMOUS I could understand, however I think the sequel will be nowhere near as good as the predecessors. Also, I think Drive Club will be 'just another driving sim', and Killzone and Mad Max will be in the 'just another shooter' ranks. Seriously, the more I look at PS4 games, the less I want to buy it. I see no point in buying it at the moment.

        Oh, and they're not all even launch titles…and people think that the PS4 will completely dominate the charts. PFFT.

      • Jon Turner says:

        Oh so they're not even launching PS4 in Japan UNTIL FFXV is done? That's a long time away! And by then WiiU will probably be in a better position. I knew that the hype behind PS4 was too good to be true.

        • RicardJulianti says:

          Well, by that I meant that Sony hasn't shown a single game that appeals to the Japanese audience aside from FFXV. The PS4 will be out in Japan before FFXV launches, but it won't be very appealing…..the number 4 is rooted in superstition in Japan so that's not going to help. Knack, Killzone, Infamous, Driveclub……not one of those games is going to be a draw for Japanese gamers.

          It's very possible that they do have things, but they are going to be post-launch…possibly next fiscal year (Starting in April). They wouldn't hold off on a 1st party launch game this long/until TGS. Anything they announce is going to have a vague Q2 2014 release window.

          • Jon Turner says:

            Then that leaves Nintendo at an advantage to up them behind their backs in Japan, right? Therefore gaining a chance of getting KHIII on WiiU, perhaps?

          • RicardJulianti says:

            Probably. Everything seen for the Wii U this fall is likely going to be a big hit in Japan. I mean, if a niche title like Pikmin 3 can increase sales 117% and have 153k units sold in the first couple weeks, just think what Wind Waker, Donkey Kong, and Mario will be able to do. Then there's the exclusive Sonic game.

            Nintendo is definitely better positioned in Japan than the PS4 is.

          • Jon Turner says:

            Square-Enix and other companies in Japan hesitant to support WiiU better take note of the uptick in the sales the WiiU is gonna get later this year. With those sales up, they'll want to jump on the train.

  50. koopzilla says:

    "Pikmin 3 is carrying the console by itself right now"
    That was unintentionally kind of funny.

  51. NGX159 says:

    Can't wait to see the sales for America, and this is only the beginning folks. Wii can't wait till U dominate.

    • Matthew Wesley says:

      Don't worry… Soon you'll be hearing from the damage control warriors. ''This is a fluke'' and ''The other games won't push consoles like that'', when you really think about it, it's sad.

  52. Gameroid24 says:

    I think this goes to show that Nintendo should continue making Pikmin games regularly because now they know for a fact that they sell. I want them to atleast try to make an F-zero, Metroid, and Star Fox when the install base goes up. If they sell well than they will know that it would be worth their time to make more… I hate seeing a ton of remakes but if they remade a few of the games then they could test the waters to see if their is enough interest to make new games.

  53. Matthew Wesley says:

    Really! And someone said Pikmin doesn't sale consoles!

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