Novelty, Nostalgia Hint at Nintendo Success
Do the latest Japanese charts say something more about Nintendo's future?
Those doubting the influence of nostalgia on the current video game market need only look to the latest Japanese sales charts (seen below), where the top game for the week beginning 26 September is the 20th anniversary re-release of Super Mario Bros. for the Game Boy Advance.
The Japanese charts tell of the decline of the home console in that country and the subsequent takeover by handhelds. Where previously you would be hard pressed to find anything but PlayStation 2 games on the weekly Japanese sales, the latest Top 10 is populated by no less eight portable games.
The big winner in all this is Nintendo, which is banking on both the popularity of its rich past and the novelty of the DS and the games on it. The success of this strategy on its handhelds is not only good news for the company right now, but it bodes well for its biggest leap of faith: the Revolution.
In the next generation, Nintendo is straying from the grassless path of technology-over-all-else and will instead forge ahead with as complete rethink of what games are and what they can be.
The unveiling of the Revolution controller at last month's Tokyo Game Show was met by curiosity-cum-enthusiasm for the potential unlocked by the paradigm change. Nintendo's biggest challenge right now is to transform the head scratching into button pressing.
The top games in Japan for the week beginning 26 September, as determined by Media Create:
- Famicom Mini: Super Mario Bros. (GBA), Nintendo
- Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop! (DS), Bandai
- Urban Reign (PS2), Namco
- Dynasty Warriors 5: Mosho Den (PS2), Koei
- DS Training For Adults: Work Your Brain (DS), Nintendo
- Gentle Brain Exercises (DS), Nintendo
- Guilty Gear XX # Reload (PSP), Sega
- Super Robot Wars J (GBA), Banpresto
- Dr. Mario & Puzzle League (GBA), Nintendo
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 9: Ubiquitous Evolution (PSP), Konami
Editor, Kikizo Games