Nintendo can thank Mario and Link for two good reasons to brag about Black Friday. The publisher has revealed that both Super Mario 3D Land and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword have set sales records, each selling more than 500,000 copies since their respective launches on Nov. 11 and 20. Mario also helped ignite sales of Nintendo’s 3DS handheld, which skyrocketed 325 percent from sales during the week of Nov. 6, reports USA Today.
“What this has been able to do is drive our Nintendo 3DS business in only eight months to surpass the full first year volume of the original DS and we still have the bulk of the holiday to go,” said Reginald Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America President, “and we still have the launch of Mario Kart 7 (out Dec. 4) to continue driving our full-year sales on Nintendo 3DS.”
Nintendo debuted several new 3DS bundles in time for Black Friday as well, which undoubtedly helped spur sales. A Pink Nintendogs 3DS bundle, a black Ocarina of Time 3DS bundle, and a red Super Mario 3D Land bundle were all on store shelves. Strangely, even without a fancy new bundle, the Wii delivered solid sales as well, with more than 500,000 units sold during the Black Friday week–one of its strongest years yet, if not the best.
Despite it’s relatively poor performance throughout the year, Nintendo is, like last holiday, making up lost ground during November and December. It’s also worth noting that, while 500,000 is certainly not anywhere near as many units as a game like Modern Warfare 3 will sell, Mario and Zelda games tend to have a long shelf life, picking up sales as they go along instead of shedding them like a typical blockbuster release. It’s kind of like how Avatar had a moderate opening, but kept building steam for months. It will be interesting to see how well the two games sell over time.