This week we may have finally gotten proof of what I've been saying all along that the Wii is only going to have 1st party games that sell well. Everyone and their mother (and grandmother) are picking up a Wii in order to play things like Wii Sports, Wii Play and Mario Party 8. The 3rd party offerings have not been great and I don't expect many of the people who own the Wii to buy them. This is where Nintendo being the market leader in Worldwide sales (they passed the 360 recently) isn't really telling the whole story. So, what game do I feel is proof of this concept? Madden 08.
Thanks to VGCharts, we have a good handle on how well Madden 08 sold last week. Here are the sales numbers (with rank):
1. Xbox 360: 889,072
2. PS2: 546,403
3. PS3: 204,025
7. Wii: 57,247
8. Xbox: 56,841
13. PSP: 39,170
If you note, the Xbox version only sold 406 less copies of Madden 08 than the Wii version. That's pretty bad if you ask me. It's also bad that the PS2 version outsold the PS3 version by over 300,000 copies, but that's for another post. Those are pretty bad sales for a major 3rd party title on the Wii. By all accounts, the game itself is better than last year's version on the Wii. I personally don't know because I don't own a Wii.
Other sales on the Wii also tell the tale that the Wii is going to live and die by its 1st party offerings:
4. Wii Sports: 89,280 (4,242,200 total; note: this equals total Wii Sales in US)
6. Wii Play: 59,006 (1,932,191 total; note: a controller is included)
10. Mario Strikers Charged: 44,601 (233,517 total)
14. Mario Party 8: 37,521 (990,672 total)
21. Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition: 21,777 (304,570 total)
There are others on there, but the rest are 1st party as well. The only 3rd party game to hit "big" is the one above. 300k+ is respectable and is the exception to what I was talking about. I still stand by my idea that the Wii software sales will be poor for the most part outside of 1st party games whereas the 360 and PS3 will have 3rd party games that sell really well. It is a mirror image of the GameCube except that everyone loves Wii Sports and Wii Play. It would behoove Nintendo to continue making those types of niche games because it is the only way they'll be able to push respectable sales numbers in my opinion.