In the latest sales figures over at VG Chartz, the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has worked its way up to 3,178,433 total sales across all regions. In the most recent week ending January 7th, the game picked up an additional 68,304 sales. So while sales numbers come in on a bit of delay, this means that Skyward Sword actually broke the 3-million mark before the end of 2011. On a similar note, the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D also recently hit the 3-million mark for the Nintendo 3DS, now totaling 3,032,946 lifetime sales. However, these numbers are not all sunshine and rainbows, so go ahead and make the jump to see the negative side of things.
Skyward Sword is the fastest Legend of Zelda title to date to reach the 3-million sales mark. It’s unclear how close behind Twilight Princess was, as VG Chartz doesn’t have complete week by week data of the GameCube version. However, with Twilight Princess, it was a game that came out at the very beginning of a systems life cycle. As gamers started purchasing Nintendo Wii’s in 2007, 2008, and 2009, Twilight Princess was always a constant seller whenever a new console was purchased. With the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, this isn’t the case at all. The Nintendo Wii is on its way out and most gamers that wanted to play the console just for Zelda, likely picked up the system years ago or even for this last holiday season.
Nintendo Wii console sales are down and there isn’t going to be that constant trickle of sales over the long haul for Skyward Sword like there was for Twilight Princess. It’s still a relatively new game and with recent special deals pricing the game at $39.99, the game still sold over 60,000 units in this last week. I can see that number cutting in half over the next several weeks, and then leveling off somewhere in the 10,000-20,000 range of weekly sales for the next several months. I think by the time the end of 2012 comes around, the game will get a 2012 holiday season push in sales, but I think the 4-million mark is going to be the ceiling for sales numbers. By this time next year the Nintendo Wii will be an old console and all focus will be on the Nintendo Wii U.
It’s strange, but despite the record speed of sales for Skyward Sword, because of its late release in the consoles life cycle, I don’t think it will enjoy the long lifetime sales like other Nintendo Wii titles enjoyed. Such games as Super Mario Galaxy, New Super Mario Bros, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and even Twilight Princess released within the first several years of the consoles life cycle, so they were able to enjoy those constant sales numbers as new gamers purchased the system. If only Skyward Sword released in 2008 or 2009… then I think it could have challenged as one of the highest selling Zelda games ever.
On the Ocarina of Time 3D side of things, I think the exact opposite. The game is currently behind Skyward Sword when it comes to lifetime sales, but I think in the long run, Ocarina of Time 3D will run well passed Skyward Sword in sales. The Nintendo 3DS is still a relatively new console, and with each new purchaser of the handheld, this gives a high chance that a copy of Ocarina of Time 3D will be purchased. For every new sale of a Nintendo 3DS in 2012, 2013, 2014, etc… a portion of those gamers will be purchasing some of the older titles, including Ocarina of Time 3D. Thus I predict sales numbers to keep escalating.
So what does this mean going forward? For one I think that Nintendo is certainly going to want to get a Legend of Zelda title out more quickly for the Nintendo Wii U. If the system releases in 2012, I think a new Zelda game has to be out by 2014, which fits their 3 year statement that they made. On the Nintendo 3DS front, I think they are in no rush to get a new game out on the system as Ocarina of Time 3D will hold its own for much of 2012, and I think the next handheld title is likely to come sometime in 2013. Who knows, maybe they’ll quickly followup a handheld title in 2013 with Majora’s Mask 3D in 2014.
Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself, but based on the sales numbers and some logical thinking, these are the conclusions I’ve come to. What are your thoughts? What do you think of my analysis of the sales numbers? Do you think we’ll be getting a new Zelda 3DS title in 2013 and a Wii U title in 2014? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: VG Chartz
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