The driving factor behind Wii U hardware sales over the fiscal year ended March 2016 was Splatoon, released in May of last year. Strong sales have continued into 2016, leading us to ship 4.27 million units worldwide in this fiscal year. This title started off with early appeal among core gamers and has gradually spread to the young consumer and female demographics, providing an excellent illustration of Nintendo's strengths.
The number of participants for the in-game events called "Splatfests" has been steadily increasing since the first such event.
The 13th Splatfest, held from April 23rd to the 24th in Japan, saw around 790,000 participants, a record number.
With a total sell-through of 1.49 million units in Japan at the time the 13th Splatfest was held, this means that more than half of the software owners participated in this event. It is no small feat for so many users to be playing a title almost one year after launch, not only in Japan, but across the globe.
We have already expanded this IP beyond the game with a variety of products and events, and we will continue to take advantage of Splatoon's massive popularity to support products and events and create tie-ins with external partners.
Next, we will cover the amiibo business. Over the fiscal year ended March 2016, we shipped about 24.7 million amiibo figures and about 28.9 million amiibo cards, a huge increase over the prior fiscal year.
By providing a continued presence for Nintendo characters in stores, we believe the amiibo platform has created great benefits for all of Nintendo's platforms.
These are the sell-through trends for Splatoon series amiibo in Japan.
Even after the start of the calendar year, the Splatoon series amiibo have continued to sell well, with sales approaching one million units in Japan alone.
This graph shows the total sell-through by quarter in the U.S. for several of the characters that were released with the initial launch of amiibo in November 2014.
Like software titles, some amiibo characters are also becoming evergreen, showing stable long-term sales with little seasonal fluctuation.
Next, I will describe our progress in download sales.
This graph shows our download sales by quarter over the last four fiscal years.
Despite coming after the holiday season, the fourth quarter had the highest sales of any quarter over the fiscal year ended March 2016. The total for the entire fiscal year was 43.9 billion yen.
The large increase in the fourth quarter this year is due to the release of downloadable content for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U in February and downloadable content for Fire Emblem Fates that was released in the U.S. in March.
We have focused on expanding the digital business, both to keep up with changes in the industry and as a new business opportunity. This shows that we have made steady progress in the digital sphere.
This slide shows the download sales shown by region for the last two fiscal years.
Sales for the fiscal year ended March 2016 have expanded in all regions compared to the prior year. We have seen a particular jump in sales in the Americas, represented by the yellow bar.
The Americas, in yellow, make up more than half of the total, followed by Japan in blue, then Europe in red.
This slide shows the top-ranked download titles, excluding downloadable versions of packaged software.
As I noted in the last financial briefing, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U and Mario Kart 8 made particularly outstanding contributions. Twenty years after the release of Pokémon Red and Green, we launched Pokémon Red, Green, Blue and Pikachu as Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console titles in February this year. These titles and the popular downloadable content for Fire Emblem Fates also secured top spots.
Worldwide, the four Virtual Console titles – Pokémon Red, Green, Blue and Pikachu – have been downloaded more than 1.5 million times. More than half of these downloads came from the American market. Since the start of the calendar year, Pokémon has been the subject of much attention in America, and sales are showing a favorable trend. Although these are downloadable software titles, download codes sold through retail stores have been a high proportion of sales in Japan. We believe that we have successfully created a chance to appeal to the nostalgia of consumers who played these titles when they first came out.