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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - Is Pikmin 3 a system seller?



The recent Gmail update made our tips email a bit wonky. I couldn't get into the email to check questions tonight, but I'll post our latest mailbag edition as soon as things get fixed up. For now, let's talk Pikmin! See you in a few, short hours.

It's hard to believe that Pikmin 3 is now a real game that exists in Japan. We had so many years of Nintendo discussing a new Pikmin title being in the works. Each year as E3 rolled around, we were sure that we'd see the reveal of the long-in-development title. Time and time again, we ended up disappointed with a no-show. Now the final game has finally shipped in Japan.

Even thought Pikmin isn't exactly a new franchise, it's one that Nintendo hasn't been all that involved with over the years. Most Nintendo brands have double-digit outings under their belts, but the Pikmin universe has only graced us with two titles. There may have been Wii re-releases, but those don't count. Pikmin 1 and 2 are our only unique adventures in the Pikmin universe.

Pikmin 3 almost graced us with its presence on the Wii, but Miyamoto saw fit to bring the game over to Wii U. That made the wait even longer, but soon enough that wait is coming to an end. The title is available in Japan right now, with Europe and North America soon to follow. It's finally going to be time to take on another adventure of quite a grand scale!

Early reports from Japan indicate that Pikmin 3 is not only selling well, but moving some Wii U units out the door. That is doubly good news to hear. Any game that can move systems is a big thing for Nintendo right now. The question is, just how much selling power does Pikmin 3 have? We'll find out some numbers Wednesday morning, but does Pikmin 3 stand to be a game-changer in the states and Europe? Can this title bring in more Wii U consumers? Are you a Wii U hold-out that is jumping in for Pikmin 3?

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69 total comments (View all)
No Avatar
17 Jul 2013 11:22

Much like most of Nintendo's problems, it can be a system seller with the help of AWARENESS.

That comparison to New Super Mario Bros. U isn't entirely accurate because NSMB, NSMBWii and even NSMB2 had commercials and advertising behind it. NSMBU will sell units once marketing hits, as long as Nintendo decides against sitting on their hands for the holidays, which I doubt that they're doing. With all the news I've been hearing about, I guess Iwata wasn't kidding when he said they were holding back resources to go all out this holiday season. Isn't Wii U and Nintendo sponsors of the Tour de France? Plus the SDCC Wii U + Wonderful 101 giveaway? The Pikmin 3 GameStop "Experience"?

Please for the love of God keep this up, and don't stop when the holiday season ends.
User avatar
17 Jul 2013 11:32

Nope. No one bought a GameCube for Pikmin. I don't own a Wii U, and Pikmin 3 isn't even a factor in my decision to get one.

They should've named it "Pikmin U" or something. Less people will buy it if they think they have to play 1 & 2 first.
User avatar
17 Jul 2013 11:39

8 bit wrote:Nope. No one bought a GameCube for Pikmin. I don't own a Wii U, and Pikmin 3 isn't even a factor in my decision to get one.

They should've named it "Pikmin U" or something. Less people will buy it if they think they have to play 1 & 2 first.


You lie. I bought the GameCube for Pikmin 1~
User avatar
17 Jul 2013 11:42

For me personally? Yeah, my interest in the Wii U increased tenfold when Pikmin 3 was officially announced for the system, and I plan on picking the console and the game up in a few months because of it. For others? Not to a great extent, but I feel like it will be the start of the Wii U actually beginning to sell well. The system won't begin truly flying off the shelves until Super Mario 3D World or Mario Kart 8 arrive on the scene, though.
No Avatar
17 Jul 2013 11:49

Pikmin sales have gotten worse with each release and re-release.

To project that this title would be the key to unlock momentum in Wii U sales is insane.
No Avatar
17 Jul 2013 12:07

Been holding out, but I'm finally gonna be picking up a wii u when Pokemon 3 comes out.
User avatar
17 Jul 2013 12:37

andrelol3 wrote:
NeroSuferoth wrote:A system seller?.. I don't know of anyone that hasn't purchased a WiiU just waiting for Pikmin3 to do so.

It could be system seller for a few percentage, but not in the sense of a system seller thay will help the WiiU get out of its current situation.. Certainly not in the same sense as the main Mario titles, the NSMB series or Mario Kart have been.


Looks like you are completely wrong.

Pikmin 3 made the Wii U sell 140% more in Japan last week. :lol:


Nope, I'm not completlly wrong.

I said it could be a system seller for some, but in general, I'm certain it will sell relatively similar to past iterations which doesn't make it a "mainstream system seller"
User avatar
17 Jul 2013 14:34

NeroSuferoth wrote:
andrelol3 wrote:
NeroSuferoth wrote:A system seller?.. I don't know of anyone that hasn't purchased a WiiU just waiting for Pikmin3 to do so.

It could be system seller for a few percentage, but not in the sense of a system seller thay will help the WiiU get out of its current situation.. Certainly not in the same sense as the main Mario titles, the NSMB series or Mario Kart have been.


Looks like you are completely wrong.

Pikmin 3 made the Wii U sell 140% more in Japan last week. :lol:


Nope, I'm not completlly wrong.

I said it could be a system seller for some, but in general, I'm certain it will sell relatively similar to past iterations which doesn't make it a "mainstream system seller"


This. There is a difference.

By definition, yes, it's selling systems. But the term "system seller" is not being completely literal. It's on a grander scale. When someone references a "system seller", they mean a "mainstream system seller". A game that pushes many, many consoles.

No just a game that someone out there wanted and will buy a Wii U for.

New Super Luigi U was legitimately my "system seller" (in conjunction with games like Pikmin, etc, but it was the thing that made me want the Wii U sooner, pre-E3). That doesn't make NSLU a "system seller" other than for me personally, though.

Until we know the numbers, a few days of boosted sales doesn't necessarily make it a system seller.

And even if it is in Japan, Japan and North America/Europe are VERY different markets. Japan may love Pikmin. Pikmin is not nearly as popular here.
No Avatar
17 Jul 2013 15:39

This is a game that is going to have somewhere between a 5-8% attachment rate to consoles, going by the sales of the first two editions. That is not 33% Mario Kart Wii or even the typical 25% Mario rate. The game will be fun, and I got it in pre-order, but it won't move that many consoles in North America without a "Buy a Wii U, get Pikmin 3 for free" deal from retailers.
User avatar
17 Jul 2013 16:18

stoopeed wrote:No. Take a look at NSMBU sales and feel free to extrapolate:

NSMB: 29m, NSMBWii: 27m, NSMBU: 2m
Pikmin 1: 1.6m, Pikmin 2: 1.2m, Pikmin 3: ?


I can't extrapolate from that because New Super Mario Bros is a terrible series and Pikmin is not a terrible series. Pikmin also exists in a much less crowded genre.

Furious Francis wrote:The term 'system seller' is misleading. No one title is going to get everybody to purchase a Wii U. You need multiple titles that help to sell a system.


Don't tell Nintendo that. Every time you register a game on Club Nintendo, they specifically ask you if that was The Game you bought the system for.
User avatar
17 Jul 2013 18:25

stoopeed wrote:
Devil_Rising wrote:No point arguing with someone like that really. I mean seriously, just look at the name. :lol:

Hey thanks! What did I say exactly that was so terribly stupid / trollish / negative?

Edit: Just to add some context, I didn't mean to sound triumphant or anything when stating all the above. It's totally cool if Pikmin is a niche series, actually Nintendo should release much more niche stuff! I was e.g. hoping for an international Captain Rainbow release... But here the question was, is Pikmin 3 a system seller? And it isn't, especially not in the current situation.

I'm the most pro-Nintendo guy you'll find... 33y/o, nintending since the NES, only other systems owned were Mega Drive and Game Gear, highly unlikely to ever buy a non-Nintendo system again. I'm just frustrated with N these days.



Okay, fair enough. If you really mean that. Keep in mind, we get a lot of folks who create accounts just to post one trollish comment, and are never seen again. If you stick around, then cheers.

But I would not personally call Pikmin a "niche" series. Surely it is not for everyone. But it has more universal appeal and popularity, than say, Shin Megami Tensai, or Romancing of the Three Kingdoms, etc. The past two Pikmin titles, as you pointed out, sold 1 million+. The Wii U doesn't have the user base (yet) that GC did, but I do personally feel that Pikmin 3, being the first new game in 9 years, and long awaited by many, is enough to get some folks to buy the system. It's not a Mario/Mario Kart/Zelda type console seller. But I certainly think it'll help.


kingc8 wrote:Pikmin sales have gotten worse with each release and re-release.

To project that this title would be the key to unlock momentum in Wii U sales is insane.


How very logical of you. Because selling over a million each time is "worse and worse". And the "Wii Control" re-releases do not count. The two previous main entries themselves have actually sold very well, and the franchise as a whole has been fairly popular and financially viable.

And word to the wise, ANY games coming out for Wii U is a good thing. A fairly "big" game like Pikmin coming out, is in fact a floodgate type of game, especially considering that there is at least one major Wii U release per month coming from August on out.
User avatar
17 Jul 2013 19:16

It'll sell the system to some people, but considering it's a very, very niche game - not to main market appeal, not a hell's chance.
No Avatar
17 Jul 2013 20:17

Devil_Rising wrote: If you stick around, then cheers.

Actually I've been around for years, just look at my profile :) Only reason my post count is 0 is cause this site doesn't count blog comments for some reason, and I never posted on the actual forums.
No Avatar
18 Jul 2013 03:31

Devil_Rising wrote:How very logical of you. Because selling over a million each time is "worse and worse". And the "Wii Control" re-releases do not count. The two previous main entries themselves have actually sold very well, and the franchise as a whole has been fairly popular and financially viable.


"Because selling over a million each time is "worse and worse""

Pikmin 1 / GAMECUBE lifetime global sales 1.63 million

Pikmin 2 / GAMECUBE lifetime global sales 1.20 million

Is it looking better and better?

Pikmin 1 / WII lifetime global sales 590 thousand

Pikmin 2 / WII lifetime global sales 410 thousand

Better and better?

"And the "Wii Control" re-releases do not count."

I think you'll find it does. -And not just because I had my fingers crossed behind my back when I said it.
User avatar
18 Jul 2013 05:50

kingc8 wrote:
Pikmin 1 / GAMECUBE lifetime global sales 1.63 million

Pikmin 2 / GAMECUBE lifetime global sales 1.20 million

Is it looking better and better?


If you want me to be brutally honest, it just looks the same.

Couple thousand off honestly doesn't look like it's WORSE AND WORSE anyway.

As for the Wii versions, if you're using US numbers, it's been out a year, when the Wii has been long dead, and the Wii U was just around the corner. Pikmin 2 Wii doing bad had less to do with Pikmin and more to do with the Wii at that time.
No Avatar
18 Jul 2013 06:40

MoldyClay wrote:
kingc8 wrote:
Pikmin 1 / GAMECUBE lifetime global sales 1.63 million

Pikmin 2 / GAMECUBE lifetime global sales 1.20 million

Is it looking better and better?


If you want me to be brutally honest, it just looks the same.

Couple thousand off honestly doesn't look like it's WORSE AND WORSE anyway.

As for the Wii versions, if you're using US numbers, it's been out a year, when the Wii has been long dead, and the Wii U was just around the corner. Pikmin 2 Wii doing bad had less to do with Pikmin and more to do with the Wii at that time.


A couple of thousand off (down) is.. better?

"if you're using US numbers, it's been out a year, when the Wii has been long dead,"

I'm using global numbers.. but i don't think the relatively recent arrival of the US Wii Pikmins is gonna close the gap..

As for the Wii being dead. Nintendo and third parties seem to wish it was. -From launch in November last year to today, the original Wii has outsold the U by around 600,000 units..

Pikmin was expensive to make and historically it hasn't performed as well as literally any other Nintendo property. To be clear, if you want to find another Nintendo property than has the same fan base, you would have to go look in the Steel Diver bargain bin.

2.5 millions units in franchise total is nice.. until you find out how much it cost Nintendo to make each one.. then there is no point.. and then to assign it the job of building an installed base of Wii U's, is -in my view- just negligent.
User avatar
18 Jul 2013 14:08

kingc8 wrote:A couple of thousand off (down) is.. better?


Show me where "about the same" and "not worse and worse" means "better". I'd love to see that explanation.

Those words mean exactly what they say. About the same. And not "worse and worse". They aren't synonymous with "better" in any way.

As for everything else, fair enough.
User avatar
18 Jul 2013 14:26

MoldyClay wrote:
kingc8 wrote:
Pikmin 1 / GAMECUBE lifetime global sales 1.63 million

Pikmin 2 / GAMECUBE lifetime global sales 1.20 million

Is it looking better and better?


If you want me to be brutally honest, it just looks the same.

Couple thousand off honestly doesn't look like it's WORSE AND WORSE anyway.

As for the Wii versions, if you're using US numbers, it's been out a year, when the Wii has been long dead, and the Wii U was just around the corner. Pikmin 2 Wii doing bad had less to do with Pikmin and more to do with the Wii at that time.


Even though those are VGChartz numbers, that's a 430k difference, far more than a couple thousand. It's a 26% decrease in sales from Pikmin 1 to 2. If that's not considered a decline, then I don't know what is.
User avatar
18 Jul 2013 16:50

With Earthbound releasing today, Pikmin releasing on Aug. 4th in the states, and Pokemon Rumble coming out at the end of August, I think system sales will start to pick up. Will Pikmin alone be the savior of Wii U? No, probably not and we all know that. But IT WILL be the game to start the momentum going into the holiday season which is very important. Also I do think Pikmin 3 will be the highest selling Pikmin for two reasons. One because it's been nine years since the last one and Nintendo fans have been clamoring for a sequel since then. Second is that Pikmin 3 is arguably more of a high profile release for Wii U than Pikmin 1 and 2 were for Gamecube. Nintendo has been touting this game for some time now and I'm starting to see commercials all over TV. All that said I do know many gamers who have said that they would wait for Pikmin 3 to get a Wii U, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of sales we see from it right off the bat.
User avatar
19 Jul 2013 02:30

gbpackers31 wrote:Even though those are VGChartz numbers, that's a 430k difference, far more than a couple thousand. It's a 26% decrease in sales from Pikmin 1 to 2. If that's not considered a decline, then I don't know what is.


I never said it wasn't a decline.

But I honestly don't think you can judge a series based on only 2 games when they both STILL sold over a million. Even if it is a 26% decrease, it's not as drastic as say, some Zelda games having lower sales than older Zeldas.

Zelda 2 & ALttP sold 2 million less than Zelda 1. MM, Oracles & TWW all sold 3 million less than OoT. Nobody went around screaming that the Zelda series lost its selling power and was doing worse, even though it was. They just went WELL, OoT SOLD REALLY WELL.

And if we want to talk about re-releases, ALttP/Four Swords sold barely HALF what ALttP on SNES sold. Ocarina of Time? Maybe a third the lifetime sales of the original N64 version.

Counting Pikmin re-releases against the series isn't fair. People simply don't care for full-priced re-releases that don't add a lot. Pikmin's re-release sales go in line with how bad the Zelda re-releases did in comparison to the originals.

TWW sold like 4.5 millionish I think. I can guarantee TWW HD will not get anywhere near that number. Between the low Wii U install base, the fact it's a barely updated re-release and because TWW didn't hit high numbers in the first place. So of course Pikmin NEW PLAY CONTROL sold like crap.

And like I said, two actual games is simply not enough to really judge anything. Pikmin 2 sales were worse, but we have no idea how Pikmin 3 will do just because people 10 years ago didn't get them (new people exist now who probably got the games used and aren't counted in those million from a decade ago) and because people don't buy New Play Control games.
User avatar
23 Jul 2013 13:48

MasterofMonster wrote:You lie. I bought the GameCube for Pikmin 1~

LOL.

OK, no one bought a GameCube for Pikmin, except MasterofMonster. Happy? :P
User avatar
24 Jul 2013 03:01

People came to Gamecube for Smash Bros. They stayed for Pikmin. :P
User avatar
25 Jul 2013 05:55

Devil_Rising wrote:People came to Gamecube for Smash Bros. They stayed for Pikmin. :P


Pikmin actually came out before Melee. Except in PAL territories, where they were a month apart and Melee was first.

North America was a bizarre situation where they were a day apart evidently.

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