Wii Play, the US$50 game that comes packaged with a Wii Remote, has joined fellow hardware pack-in Wii Sports as the only games from this hardware generation to sell more than ten million copies in the US. Wii Play, which was last year's top selling game despite the fact that it came out in early 2007, only costs ten dollars more than a standalone Wii Remote, which has likely been the impetus for many a purchase.
While the game has received quite a drubbing from critics, including a 2/5 score in our review, the game's casual style has made it easily accessible to less experienced gamers. Alicia Ashby from OMGNintendo explains the phenomenon succinctly in her blog post on the subject (which can be read here), saying "The simple games appear to be great fun if you have kids and grandmas playing frequently and the controller and game package gets two controllers into a lot of houses that might have otherwise have stopped at one (and made their Wii experience a lot less fun)."
Nintendo's press release is below.
Nintendo's Wii Play Surpasses 10 Million Units Sold in the United States
Wii Play(tm), a collection of nine mini-games, has now sold more than 10 million units in the United States alone since its debut in February 2007, according to figures released today by the independent NPD Group, which tracks video game sales in the United States. Wii Play, now the top-selling software on all consoles and portable systems in the United States, comes packaged with a Wii Remote(tm) controller.
"Wii Play mini-games are fun and they get people playing together," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "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."
Wii(tm) system sales were up about 74 percent over February 2008, and Wii and Nintendo DS(tm) finished February as the top-selling hardware systems. Wii sold nearly 753,000, bringing its lifetime U.S. sales to nearly 19 million, while Nintendo DS sold nearly 588,000 for a lifetime U.S. total of nearly 29 million.
Nintendo DS(tm) demonstrated continued strength, as "evergreen" games like Mario Kart(tm) DS (launched November 2005) and New Super Mario Bros.(tm) (launched May 2006) again placed among the top sellers for February. The strong showing for Nintendo DS hardware and software demonstrates continued consumer interest in the portable system as the United States preps for the April 5 launch of the Nintendo DSi(tm) system, the third iteration of the hardware.
Five games made for Nintendo systems finished in the top 10 best-sellers of February. These include Wii Fit(tm) at No. 1 with nearly 644,000 sold, Wii Play at No. 2 with nearly 386,000 sold, Mario Kart(tm) Wii at No. 6 with nearly 263,000 sold, Mario Kart DS at No. 8 with nearly 145,000 sold and New Super Mario Bros. at No. 9 with more than 144,000 sold.
This story, "Wii Game Hits Sales Record" was originally published by GamePro.