Wii reaches 22 million-sellers in 16 months

The sales-tracking website VGChartz.com is now reporting 22 Wii games have sold one million copies or more worldwide.

LucasArts’ Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is the latest Wii game to go platinum, making it the ninth third-party game to reach this prestigious plateau.

These figures sharply contrast criticism asserting Wii software has poor selling potential. For comparison, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 now hosts 35 million-sellers 28 months after its release, while Sony’s PlayStation 3, released alongside Wii in Nov. 2006, has only 10.

Wii has reached 22 million-sellers in only 16 months, far outpacing software sales of Nintendo’s last console, the GameCube, which had 38 platinum-selling games by the end of its five-year life cycle.

In terms of specific Wii software, Wii Sports remains at the top of the list with more than 20 million copies sold, including non-Japanese pack-in sales. Wii Play follows with nearly 11 million, and Super Mario Galaxy rounds out the top three with more than 6 million.


  1. ohhh for a minute i thought the headline said that the wii had sold 22 million units 😉

    ugh, i can’t rest knowing that that list of 22 includes carnival games, that bastard son of wii sports.

  2. Speaking of Carnival Games…it wasn’t necessary in the article, but here are the nine third-party platinum-sellers on Wii.

    Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (3.53 million)
    Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (2.01)
    Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition (1.69)
    Rayman Raving Rabbids (1.29)
    Carnival Games (1.27)
    Sonic and the Secret Rings (1.20)
    Red Steel (1.04)
    Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles (1.02)
    Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (1.00)

    Again, these figures are worldwide and are according to VGChartz.com.

  3. My head is spinning…

    Rayman Raving Rabbids??

  4. How does the 9 wii third-party games compare to 360 and PS3 million-sellers?

  5. hmmm- check out that list then check out the 360 list. it really suggests two different audiences to me, and it solidifies nintendo’s kid (family?) orientation. i’m also thinking these different audiences are a big reason we see watered down ports like rock band. the general nintendo audience, happy with carnival drek, doesn’t justify the investment in all the perks, as they’ll largely be happy enough without online play.

    it’s like nintendo expanded the market, but only when looking at the aggregate market. when nintendo said their next console would move to blue ocean, i never really thought they’d leave the red ocean as much as they seem to have. wii60 has never looked so good.

  6. I would have expected the 360 to have a hell of a lot more considering it had a year headstart on everybody.

  7. Blake: Here is a quick follow-up to your question; this is a rundown of the million-sellers on each of the three systems.

    Wii: 9 third-party of 22 total (41% third-party)
    Xbox 360: 27 third-party of 35 total (77% third-party)
    PS3: 7 third-party of 10 total (70% third-party)

  8. @ jeff- yeah I was wondering about that. longer time means more games. but, shorter time on mkt means fewer choices means people buy the same game more often. i wonder if concoles rush to a certain number of million sellers but slow down the accumulation at some point…. and how that works against consoles sold

  9. and deepthought- you are putting the cart before the horse.

    The only reason for the difference in “game audiences” is because 3rd parties set out to make those games on the cheap after the Wii took off. It’s a classic self-fulfilling prophecy, only broken by the Wii’s sheer userbase. I’m actually amazed that the Wii sold that many 3rd party games, considering the amount of SHIT it has to endure from them, and that means the Wii audience is hungry for content and will purchase games, high quality or low quality, just like the PS2 and other industry-leading platforms. And of course, Nintendo games dominate the list because that make good games that sell well, same as the DS.

    and also, what are you trying to say with that last post? I can’t see what it is.

    FURTHERMORE, the subtle ZOMG casual kid friendly accusation won’t hold purchase for much longer, especially considering the same was said of the DS around this time too, that’d it’d only sell Nintendogs to girls. Seriously, it’s like watching a Greek tragedy AGAIN, but it seems like it’s in slow motion because you’ve seen it coming.

  10. With RE4 selling better than BioShock, I hope this will give Capcom more incentive to work on a port of RE5. I’ve been watching the user polls on Capcom’s site. The amount of peeps that would prefer a Wii version, are about the same as the 360 and PS3 compbined.

    If anything 3rd party devs don’t need to sell as many units on the Wii to see a return, of course this has helped contribute to the tons of vomit they’ve spewed upon us.

    I agree Jeff, so many seem to willingly ignore and don’t want to acknowledge what’s been right in front of them for years now. The DS and Wii have so many parallels. They certainly re-sparked my interest in console gaming, I had grown tired of the horrid controls — as in not good for games I’ve always played on PCs, that consoles were starting to get in abundance.

    What gets me, are the kids that keep on spewing the Wii is only good as a party console and how motion controls getting tired, as if aiming — quite slowly — with one’s thumb and repeatedly pressing a button hasn’t gotten old.

  11. hey jeff- definately disagree with how you read it. whether the wii is capable of more or not isn’t really on my mind. the wii is what it is. and it’s a console with lots of minigame games and family fair.

    is the wii audience really hungry for better? i bet the ones on this site are. but the broader audience?
    eh. hard to say. bet the wiibored sells like plastic hotcakes though.

    here’s something i’d like to know. i hear gh3 had some quality wii online play. how many of the buyers actually went online with it though? could be informative on the RB development.

    my last comment meant that it’s easier to quickly accumulate million sellers when the overall game library is small. i was wondering how larger game library size slows the accumulation of million sellers, (and how that is offset by console sales.) some games launched with a console would never sell as many a year later.

    also, i havent seen anyone use ‘zomg’ on inefendo forums recently. i do find it amusing that you point to people (somewhere?) overreacting, and then immediately compare the video games to a greek tragedy. i mean, that’s pretty funny. right?

  12. I don’t think that the lack of Rock Band DLC has anything to do with EA’s perception of the audience or Nintendo holding back online details. The fact as I see it is that EA is just rushing the product. I found it funny that the day after the Rock Band presser stated there ws some problem with DLC on the Wii, Square-Enix released a WiiWare game essentially built around DLC.

    Furthermore deepthought, quality aside, it looks as though there is a healthy mix in types of gamers on the Wii. You have your Resident Evils and Sonic(classic game franchises) and the Mini Game fests that the expanded audience is after. If you added the first party million sellers you would find again plenty of “core gamer” titles.

    The expanded audience is really simple to understand and I can’t figure out why so many people have a hard time understanding them. They want local multiplayer games, they have little desire for online games. They found the Wii because they were looking for an activity to enjoy when friends come over, which is every weekend for them. Microsoft and Sony would try to use this as a point of derision. As I fall into the category who loves the Wii for its party potential it is more of a bullet point.

  13. “also, i havent seen anyone use ‘zomg’ on inefendo forums recently. i do find it amusing that you point to people (somewhere?) overreacting, and then immediately compare the video games to a greek tragedy. i mean, that’s pretty funny. right?”

    No it’s called an apt analogy. It is very much like watching the same tragic hero (3rd parties) make the same mistakes again (not supporting Wii/DS), despite having the exact same thing happen AGAIN. Imagine another one: a boxer who drops his left and gets POUNDED by a fierce right. After his cutman tells him to always keep that left up, he drops it again, only slower and telegraphing more. It’s the same deal.

  14. Hunter- Yeah EA is prob rushing the product. They need to get it out with enough lead time before RB2.

    But you said it yourself- many wii players want local multiplayer (which I take it, means ‘in person’, and not a ‘local area network’). Why would EA use resources for a feature that doesn’t add value for the majority of users? So I guess it depends on how you see the wii market. I see it as quite casual. EA might too. Better to get the product out, sell em fast, and then release a fully featured RB2… or so EA thinks…

  15. Jeff is right.

    The wii sells lots of family games because thats whats on the platform NOT because thats the only audience. When we get some really good mature third party games, (Like RE4Wii). They’ll sell well too. Put something like Bioshock or Gears on Wii and it will be a million seller too even with xbox+ level graphics. The audience is there, the games are not.

  16. here’s something- check out the vg chartz top sellers for the last 10 weeks. it’s wii play leading the nonbundle pack: http://vgchartz.com/aweekly.php?date=39516&boxartz=1

    also, check out the number of wii’s v 360 v ps3 sold on vgchartz’s homepage. wii is kicking butt. yet, RE4 isn’t a million seller in any single region- it’s only worldwide that it break 1 million.

    metroid drops down the list even further. compare those against cod4 on the 360- even with a lower install base, cod is making a killing in sales.

    course that’s only one genre (fps), but looking at the numbers of games sold of each type, comparing them to the install base really makes wii buyers look quite a bit more casual.

    so i’m really not convinced that the audience is there. gears sold 5m+ on 360; i doubt it could do that on the wii.

    (good thread here)

  17. Admittedly, hardcore FPS is an American-centric taste and therefore, well suited to the 360, but the point is that the Wii sells the games it has. Its hard to say what would or would not sell a million on Wii. In this case, it’s hard to say because they’re not making the games. There simply is no game like gears or bioshock or HL2, FPS or otherwise, on Wii. The fact that RE4 has sold more than double Capcoms own expectations proves simply that they were wrong. Jeff’s point is that, even though their assumptions were proven wrong, they’re not changing their assumptions. Its comical.

    I firmly believe a game like Dead Rising would do great on the Wii.

  18. the sales of metroid and RE4 seem good proxies. the wii mkt looks like it can’t sustain significant investment in any single title.

    capcom may have beaten its expectations with re4, but that doesnt mean they should sink more money into wii development. the console truly looks like it has trouble rewarding significant investment in any single title (poor metroid can’t even outsell crossbow training! but which do you think cost more to develp?)

    developers are still trying to crack the nut of the wii market, and it looks like they’re right to think AAA titles are not the answer. wii play and wiifit seem more likely. but what type of answer is that?


  19. “metroid and RE4 seem good proxies”

    Really? Metroid Prime 2 failed to meet expectations last gen, sold dismally in Japan and really hurt the franchise sales future sales potential. As good as MP3 was, it did little new with the series. And, we all know marketing was nearly non-existent. Nintendo wouldn’t even let the press play the game in public just weeks before release. RE4Wii sold on word of mouth alone, was a remake and still sold incredibly well. I don’t know what this tells us about Wii, but it certainly isn’t “third party AAA titles are not money makers”. We need to keep in mind that a million seller on Wii is like a 3-4 million seller on 360 due to development costs coming in around 1/3 or less.

    “developers are still trying to crack the nut of the wii market”

    I would argue that the reason they HAVEN’t yet cracked the market is because they are trying to develop for the mythical casual only market that you are helping to perpetuate combined with the fact that they are shoveling games onto the Wii without polish and solid marketing because they mistakenly believe said market is naive and won’t know the difference. People hold up games like Carnival Games as evidence of this, but it makes no sense. Carnival Games is actually really fun to play and those I know who have it, really enjoy it.

    Wiiplay and Wiifit are amazing demonstrations of the capability of the Wii. If we had a similarly amazing (innovative, great fun to play, good use of the Wii-mote) mature 3rd party title, it would sell very well I think.

  20. If you want to make an automatic “cascore” million-seller on Wii, I have only four words for you: Portal II on Wii!

  21. hehe- well, most things didn’t meet expectation on the cube.

    mp2 isn’t an excuse for 3’s sales. MP3 has great graphics (for the wii) and very solid controls. it didn’t innovate too much, but neither did gow, cod4, or halo3. besides, plenty gamers found motion controls innovative enough. and i saw a ton of ads for it. i’m in seattle, which is a really techie city. but ads were all over the tube.

    The casual market is not a myth! It’s there! take the red pill!

    and portalwii ftw! (also, portal ds!!)

  22. Lets not get bogged down with whether or not GoW was innovative. The point is, its not available on Wii, so therefore, it can’t sell a million. If the title (or lots of good mature titles like it) was available and STILL didn’t show up on the million sellers list, then your attitude would be the right one. But since we, as Wii gamers are not given such choices, it’s inaccurate to look at the million sellers above and declare the constituency of the Wii audience.

  23. Why do million sellers not count if they are worldwide? That statement puzzles me, the 360 sells like crap in Japan, but nobody brings its sustainability into question. Rightly so, it is doing fine through other regions. Thusly the Wii’s sustainability need not be tied to a single region it is grabbing the largest international install.

  24. Actually I want to amend myself, but abandoning all my previous statements. Don’t you think we all worry about this a little too much. If I enjoy titles on a platform, does it matter how many Million sellers are on that platform. If I want a 360, PS3, or Wii I will get one and it will not be because of how many disks have been purchased by a lot of people I don’t know. Just get the system that is right for you I guess a person could be ambivalent by likening the concept of the controller, but not the library of games that use it, but just wait for history to pan out. Get out and play something on something and stop worrying so much.

  25. Hunter,

    You’re right, but you’re missing the point. We’re not debating which console is best, or trying to justify our support for Wii or others. We’re discussing the demographics of the Wii and how that relates to 3rd party support (or lack thereof) as evidenced by the sales mentioned in this article. I find this discussion to be pretty enlightening regardless of choices I make. I’m a vocal supporter of the Wii who’s looking to make changes from the inside and I enjoy the hell out of the 360. I’ll get a PS3 when I feel I have the time to give it what it deserves, and/or it gets cheaper.

  26. used- how about, since fewer mature titles are available, their inability to achieve the same sales as GOW and COD is that much more significant. With fewer choices, mature title consumers should be lumped into the few AAA choices available. But they’re still not buying.

    hunter- ? who said WW doesn’t count? who’s talking about sustainability? i feel like i missed part of the discussion…..

  27. “how about, since fewer mature titles are available, their inability to achieve the same sales as GOW and COD is that much more significant.”

    No, this is logical fallacy. It sounds good in a simplistic sense but doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. In other words it’s perfect for an “internet argument”. 🙂

    It makes several mathematical assumptions that simply can’t be made. Not the least of which is:

    1. There is an easily defined (quantifiable) market for mature titles within the Wii demographic.

    2. Said market will buy a specific number of mature titles regardless of content/quality.

  28. “hunter- ? who said WW doesn’t count?”

    My guess is he’s referring to your comment: “RE4 isn’t a million seller in any single region- it’s only worldwide that it break 1 million.”

  29. we don’t need to quantify the mkt for mature wii titles, or assume it will buy regardless of quality (red steel ftl). MP3 and RE4 are both AAA mature titles with waggle action that actually isn’t tacked on- the games work beautifully. But they still don’t sell. Just like many launch titles often sell WAY more than they should due to lack of options, titles in an underrepresented genre should benefit from a lack of competition IF there is a mkt for them.

    Also, I mentioned regions to demonstrate that there are million sellers and MILLION sellers. RE4 is the former.

  30. “we don’t need to quantify the mkt for mature wii titles, or assume it will buy regardless of quality ”

    For your supposition to have merit we do.

    “Also, I mentioned regions to demonstrate that there are million sellers and MILLION sellers. RE4 is the former.”

    Publishers care about 1,000,000 sellers regardless of region. When a remake like RE4 absolutely destroys publisher expectations, it tells us something.

  31. when RE4 sells 5 million, that will tell us something more.

    and i’m still not getting this quantify thing. all i’m saying is that RE4 and MP3 sales don’t seem to justify AAA wii titles from a business standpoint. not when mp3 can’t catch crossbow shooting. while i’d love to quantify the mkt, it still looks like the mkt isn’t there. my point all along.

    now, from an artistic standpoint, i’d love to see more devs take the no more heroes approach to see what the system can do, sales be darned. (and they better be darned, because no more heroes isn’t exactly selling. but then again, let’s see some ads for it, huh?)

    so bring on the bathroom scale minigames! (i plan to skip those myself, but like hunter said, play what you like!)

  32. Case in point. Devil May Cry 4.

    Its combined sales on 360 and PS3 are about the same as the Wii sales of RE4Wii. Based on development cost differentials, which platform do you suppose made Capcom more money for it’s AAA title investment?

    The answer is obvious: Wii

    Does that mean that Capcom should abandon AAA development on PS3? Not at all. It just means the game didn’t do as well as they had hoped.
    Hell, bring it out on Wii, it will probably do as well.

  33. I’m inclined to have an optimistic view about the Wii market; at least, my view is optimistic from my position as a “core” gamer who appreciates the Wii and anticipates more games aimed at my demographic.

    I’m with used cisco…I think if Wii owners had the opportunity to buy a AAA “hardcore” game, they would in hordes. RE4 sold very well, despite being an old port. RE:UC will soon go platinum worldwide, despite being a spin-off. MP3 sold admirably, despite having little advertising and, let’s be honest, very niche gameplay.

    I definitely think a mainstream, primary SKU, “hardcore” game – Call of Duty 4, Gears of War, Bioshock-type stuff – would do well on Wii. Wii owners would respond if given the opportunity to. The audience is there; to think the Wii is entirely owned by grandmothers and wine-and-cheese, weekend party-game enthusiasts seems a bit presumptuous.

    Eventually, a developer with some balls will go for that audience successfully. At least, I’m optimistic one will.

  34. “when RE4 sells 5 million, that will tell us something more.”

    It’s a remake. REMAKE. Say it with me.

    And again, 1 million sales on Wii equal similar profits to 3-4 million sellers on 360/PS3.

    “and i’m still not getting this quantify thing.”

    I’m referring to your assertion: “how about, since fewer mature titles are available, their inability to achieve the same sales as GOW and COD is that much more significant.”

  35. ‘Remake’

    how about this: the wii audience is so fragmented, we’ve got the XXX mt dew gamers (w00t), the bowling grannies, and the wine and cheese folk (lol love that characterization),etc that it’s difficult for developers to know what will sell on the wii? so they hesitate to invest? by comparison, 360 owners may be much more homogenous in interests.

    still, i feel like we’ve got some good examples of AAA games not getting the sales. isn’t there some decent medal of honor game also? pls let me know when there is a game that we can actually use as a test case. since you’ve disqualified my examples, i’ll be interested in seeing yours, whenever theyre released.

  36. oh- and i’ll gladly say it with you. no need to be dramatic- this is about video games, not aeschylus 😉

    (i’m so witty)
    /strains muscle patting self on back

  37. “how about this: the wii audience is so fragmented”

    Now, this is a problem we can agree on. The real question though, is, where are the overlaps? I believe it will take some software experimentation to discover them. I think sales of RE4Wii warrant that type of experimentation in the mature genres. I don’t feel like we’re getting that.

    “you’ve disqualified my examples’

    It’s not that I’m disqualifying them from being used as examples of a sort. I agree, their sales CAN tell us things, I just don’t agree with YOUR conclusions. 🙂

  38. @ deepthought,

    Are you trying to create some kind of myth that AAA games aren’t good on the Wii? Is this more Nintendo is for kiddy FUD? Do you work for MS’s FUD department. 😉

    I thought the PS3 was for wine sipping and Wii was for beer. What’s the 360, chocolate milk?
    (This is what I think about when I hear the term hardcore gamer BTW.)

    Besides Oblivion(2.5 million), most early 360 AAA sells of the supposed hardcorn-type, have similar figures to that of the Wii. So why should it be any different for the Wii?

    The Wii has way more going for it than the PS3 or 360 right now for developers. If you factor in the following, it’s almost a guarantee that they’ll see a return on their AAA game.

    With the Wii, we have:
    – A Much lower development cost
    – It’s the fastest selling console to date
    – Continued growth (The 360 seems to have hit a saturation point..)
    – Large install base around the globe ( not jut the US)

    Developers/publisher just need to make a AAA game and stop VOMITING WiiS2 ports our way. They no longer have an excuse and they can no longer shovel this crap our way and expect it to sell.

    Metroid Prime 3 was just released in Japan, so it should see a further boost in sells. Zelda is a hardcorn game and it’s had stellar sells. (I have yet to beat the game and I bought it at launch.) And yes it falls into this insulting hardcorn category. I can say this for a fact, when we have games like BioShock, AKA, SystemShock PlaySkool style. To ramble: I played the first Shock back in 94, and to this day, it is still the most immersive game I’ve played and it’s still the best game I’ve played. The second was a let down and the 3rd, well, it PISSED ME OFF! I ordered a steak and got a Happy Meal. FU 2K! FU for turning Shock into a fast food game for this PAMPERED generation of lazy thumb-twiddling gamers.

    MoH2 is a run of the mill FPS, just like Halo, but none the less it’s still fun. Its controls of course are excellent for a console.

    I hope I remembered prepositions and adjectives this time.. I probably shouldn’t post when I’ve had no sleep.

  39. lol bii- you sound a good bit like yahtzee, who’s taste in games i find impeccable.

    i believe that the mkt is largely efficient, and with that I’m trying to explain the business decisions that are leaving wii owners with crappy ports. the industry is reading something about the wii that keeps it from annoucing the AAA titles we want to see.

    and i always thought the 360 was beer- all frat boys with halo3 and such. ps3 is like wine… coolers. wii is, well, let’s not start a food fight…

    i just want to find examples that i can point to and say, here is a game with a comparable 360 counterpart. let’s compare sales and see what it says about the two mkts. i thought gow and cod v MP3 and RE4 was pretty fair. throw in medal of honor too if you want, though that helps my case. maybe we’ll need to wait for more wii releases…

  40. I have a funny feeling that wii u, will do worse than wii

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