And why wouldn’t they be, with the 41,000 Wiis sold last week setting a new Australian record for the most consoles sold in a single week. Is Wii Sports about to overtake backyard cricket as Australia’s Christmas Day pastime of choice this year?
We caught up with Nintendo’s Heather Murphy over email to look back on the last twelve months and take a quick peek into the future of the Wii and DS as well.Here’s the full email exchange:
Kotaku: How was 2008 for Nintendo and what are your expectations for your Xmas sales? Heather: We had some really exciting releases in 2008, so from that point of view it was a big year for us. Wii Fit, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart Wii – and all three titles were released not long after one another – Cooking Guide: Can’t Decide What To Eat?, Animal Crossing: Let’s Go To The City, Wii Speak, Wii Music, plus we’ve had some great titles on WiiWare and Virtual Console over the year.
Christmas is almost here, so from a sales point of view Nintendo DS and Wii have continued to sell consistently. Last week (week 50) was Wii’s biggest week on record with more than 41,000 Wiis sold as confirmed by GfK Australia. This is the biggest week for a home console at GfK Australia, since the company started tracking in 2000. Last week (week 50) was the third biggest week for Nintendo DS with more than 47,000 units selling through.
Kotaku: What were your highlights for 2008? Heather: Probably launching all of the above titles! We had some great titles to work with in 2008, and have had fantastic support for our products from consumers. Last week was also a highlight for us, with it being the biggest week for Wii since launch.
We also recently opened a Nintendo floor in December, at the EB Games Swanston Street store in Melbourne, which was a first for us. Having a whole floor dedicated to Nintendo product is great.
More and more people picking up and playing Wii and Nintendo DS over 2008 has also been a highlight as well.
Kotaku: What were your lowlights? Heather: To be honest, we’ve been quite happy with 2008, so nothing springs to mind.
Kotaku: How would you grade Nintendo’s performance over the whole year (where A = stellar, surpassing all expectations and F = terrible, we should just give up)? Heather: I wouldn’t grade our performance, but I would say we are continuing to work hard to bring innovative products to our consumers. We thank all the Nintendo fans for their support and hope to have a strong 2009.
Kotaku: What do Aussie gamers have to look forward to from Nintendo next year? Heather: We have a great line up of games for 2009 including Pokémon Platinum, Wii Sports Resort, Wii MotionPlus, 100 Classic Book Collection and Walk With Me! Walk With Me! turns your Nintendo DS into your own personal tracking device so you can monitor your fitness levels throughout the day, there will even be a component for your dog.
Wii Sports Resort – which I’m sure you’ve heard a bit about – is the sequel to Wii Sports, and it will make use of the new Wii MotionPlus accessory, which gives players the most responsive and realistic experience possible. Wii MotionPlus will come included with Wii Sports Resort and will plug into the base of the Wii Remote, and combined with the accelerometer and sensor bar, gives a new playing experience.
We don’t have any more information available on later releases at this stage.