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Super Mario 3D World and Lightning Returns Tank in Japan

Super Mario 3D World - Mario vs the Horn Bad Guys

Japan is a mobile country these days, and it no longer has much love for home consoles. Both Mario and Final Fantasy came out swinging this week, and their poor sales figures are evidence enough that the trend in Japan is moving away from the television set.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII launched to 277,082 units sold. Coming out on top of Mario, it still comes up short of the 1.5 million Final Fanasy XIII sold in its first week four years ago. It even came up short of Final Fantasy XIII-2, which sold 524,000.

Hopefully, Square Enix sees this downward trend as a hint to move on from Final Fantasy XIII and give us something new.

Nintendo should not listen to the same advice though. Super Mario 3D World is an absolute blast and among the best 3D Mario games we’ve ever played. That being said, it is also the worst 3D selling Mario game ever, clocking in at 99,588 copies. Granted, the Wii U doesn’t have the presence of other Nintendo consoles, but this also includes the DS version of Super Mario 64, which sold just over 120,00.

To make matters worse, it comes in way lower than any New Super Mario Bros. release, leaving us praying to the video game gods that Nintendo doesn’t go back to getting stuck in that rut again.

If it isn’t as plain as day, what we are seeing is the definite shift in Japan from consoles to mobile devices, be it the Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, or smartphones. Huge console releases are few and far between in the country, but when typically guaranteed hits like Mario and Final Fantasy are being crushed right out the gates, then it is clearly not a good sign of things to come.

At least there is Super Smash Bros. which will sell on the Wii U, but isn’t that coming out on the Nintendo 3DS as well? Watch those sales figures and compare them next year.

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...