Wii Japan Sales Pass 5 Million Units (Enterbrain)

According to Enterbrain, the Wii’s total sales have topped 5 million units in Japan since its launch two Decembers ago in 2006. While this is to be somewhat expected, what makes less sense to me is that Wii Play (many of whose minigames seemed like they took less than a few hours on red bull to put together) has sold more units than Super Mario Galaxy, which I found to be the only major Wii title of late worthy of many hours of gameplay.

Even more surprising is that in Japan, Super Mario Galaxy has also been outsold by about 300,000 units (roughly a third of its total) by Mario Party 8, a title that hasn’t failed to disappoint most fanboys of the series on this side of pacific, where SM Galaxy in turn has been comfortably and I believe rightfully outselling MP8. What makes Galaxy a more worthy addition to your Wii collection is simply that it provides not only an enjoyable experience to the player but also makes innovative strides forward from the traditional 3-d platformer.

Ubisoft’s Raving Rabbids title utilized the Wiimote in far more innovative, competitive, and enjoyable ways than MP8, a truth I found rather disappointing given the incredible strength of the Mario Party titles on the Gamecube. I’m hoping the next Mario Party title will make better use of the Wii’s novel controls and take steps forward from the Gamecube, rather than the regrettable steps back it has already taken. Notwithstanding the differences in Japanese and American marketing and title coverage, this discrepancy sheds some light on the differences that Japanese and American gamers can have in what they find entertaining.

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