As Nintendo fans grow increasingly frustrated with the lack of official news regarding the forthcoming Nintendo NX, it seems they are countering that frustration by purchasing existing Nintendo hardware in ever greater quantities.
Nintendo is enjoying very healthy sales across the US in the run up to the holidays according to the latest North American NPD sales figures. Here’s the highlights, with the sales increase compared to August last year:
- 2DS hardware sales increased 500%
- 3DS hardware sales increased 83%
- First-party physical and digital game sales increased 57%
- Wii U game sales increased 30%
- 2-year-old games Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire reached no.9 and no. 11 on overall sales charts
As you can see, there’s some very impressive increases in sales there, and during a period when the focus of consumers is increasingly turning to “what’s next?”
Nintendo’s explanation for this huge increase in sales is simple: Pokemon. The launch of Pokemon Go on smartphones surprised everyone with just how popular it was. But Nintendo seemingly predicted it would be a huge hit and planned other Pokemon releases for its own hardware to take advantage.
In May, the price of the 2DS in North America dropped to just $79.99. Before that happened, Nintendo made the classic Pokemon games (Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow) available through the Virtual Console. Then on November 18 we will see the release of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, which should trigger another spike in hardware sales just in time for Christmas.
The 83% increase in 3DS hardware sales last month followed an 80% increase in July. It seems likely September and October will see similar spikes as Nintendo’s marketing for Pokemon Sun and Moon kicks into high gear. After Christmas there’s sure to be a significant drop off in sales as is always the case, but it is likely to be worse as we head into February and then March due to the Nintendo NX launching.
Earlier this year it was predicted that Nintendo would use the Tokyo Game Show to introduce the NX properly. They didn’t do that and now I can see why. With all Nintendo’s hardware platforms seeing large spikes in sales, why would you mess with that? They may even wait until January now to reveal what the NX is, and who can blame them?