We have said in the past that it is important in the overseas Nintendo 3DS business to increase sales by keeping a rich lineup of evergreen titles highly active rather than only relying on new titles.
The red bars in this graph show the sell-through numbers of reduced-price titles called “Nintendo Selects,” which we sold in Europe starting in October last year.
Also, the gray bars represent the sell-through numbers of the same titles during the same period in the previous year, showing a comparison between the two figures.
Even after some time has passed since release, and sales have settled down, we were able to bring the momentum back to past titles by attracting consumers from a value perspective. In particular, both the sell-through numbers and the growth rate of nintendogs + cats were large, which seems to have been supported by many female consumers.
We will be encouraging our new female consumers to continue playing various titles by proposing selective titles from ones released in the past with an affordable price in the Japanese market as well.
The total sell-through numbers of Nintendo 3DS hardware reached 20 million units in Japan and over 54 million units worldwide, providing sufficient grounds to make a profit in the software business.
As I explained regarding the expansion to kids and female demographics, we believe that there are still more titles in our existing rich lineup that have the potential to be played by consumers who were previously not interested depending on how we attract them. We will proactively consider marketing tactics such as “Nintendo Selects” that create a sense of urgency and motivate consumers once again to make a purchase.
Regarding hardware, just as Monster Hunter X (Cross) pushed consumers to purchase a New Nintendo 3DS system to replace their old Nintendo 3DS, we can anticipate that future strong titles can generate demand to replace old hardware with the new model. We are planning to keep on releasing new titles to help ensure they enjoy it over a long period of time.
We are also planning marketing tactics to invigorate the entire Nintendo 3DS business.
On February 27, 2016, which is exactly 20 years from the release of Pokémon Red Version/Green Version for Game Boy on February 27, 1996, we will be launching special Pokémon bundles worldwide.
Four types of special edition Nintendo 2DS systems with Pokémon Red Version/Green Version/Blue Version/Yellow Version preinstalled will be launched in Japan.
On the same date, three types of special edition Nintendo 2DS systems with Pokémon Red Version/Blue Version/Yellow Version preinstalled will be launched in Europe, and a special edition New Nintendo 3DS system with Pokémon Red Version/Blue Version preinstalled which also comes with two types of cover plates will be launched in the US.
Next, I would like to talk about Wii U.
This graph shows the comparison between the Wii U software sell-through numbers from 2014 and 2015 in the Japanese market.
Since the two key titles, Splatoon released on May 28 last year and Super Mario Maker released on September 10 last year, had kept up their momentum until the year-end sales season, the total sales figure surpassed that of 2014, when Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U were released.
Splatoon has been showing steady sales for a long time since its release last May. It has shipped 4.06 million units worldwide as of the end of the third quarter of this fiscal year.
It has gradually expanded even among kids and female consumers, and we expect more popularity due to word-of-mouth. We can say a good cycle has been established for this title.
We are also trying various measures from an operational perspective, including holding events in and out of the game, to create opportunities for consumers to continue playing it even long after its release. It has contributed to maintaining high usage rate and public attention.
For your information, the number of participants in Japan taking part in events inside the game called “splatfests” has been consistently increasing since the first one. There were approximately 690 thousand participants in the 10th “splatfest” held on January 23 and January 24 in Japan, which is an all-time high number.
※ Approximately 690 thousand of "splatfest" participants are counted based on the number of account used.
This graph compares sell-through transition in Japan from the release week until the new-year holiday sales season for Splatoon to that of a major title released in the same period of the previous year, Mario Kart 8.
Sales of Splatoon have consistently exceeded that of Mario Kart 8 with the exception of the period right after its release. You can also see a substantially bigger sell-through of the title in the year-end sales season.
Splatoon is not losing momentum even after the start of a new year and we anticipate it has the potential to be a long-selling title.
Last September, we globally released a “create and play” type of Mario software, Super Mario Maker , in which you use the Wii U GamePad controller to freely create 2D Mario courses.
This title has been showing steady sales worldwide, and has shipped over three million units as of the end of the third quarter of this fiscal year.
A large increase in the number of players for the game following the year-end sales season has led to over 6.2 million different user-created playable courses, which in turn have been played over 400 million times as of January 27.
In order to keep up the high usage rate of the game, we have been periodically updating the software and expanding related services. We have added functions like “parts” with which users can create a greater variety of courses, and also launched a web portal called “Super Mario Maker Bookmark” in which users can more easily search for interesting courses to play.
This graph shows the comparison between the Wii U hardware sell-through numbers from 2014 and 2015 in the Japanese market.
The momentum of the Splatoon and Super Mario Maker games released last year was maintained until the end of the year, which also drove sales of the hardware.
Thanks to the new Wii U hardware bundles with Splatoon or Super Mario Maker preinstalled having launched in the sales season, the total sales of the hardware increased over the previous year.
This graph shows the comparison between the Nintendo-published Wii U software sell-through numbers from 2014 and 2015 in the US and European markets.
Due to the continuous sales of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, both released in 2014, and two strong titles Splatoon and Super Mario Maker released almost at the same time as in Japan, the software sales exceeded the previous year as well.