Nintendo wins as casual games rule UK charts

It will probably come as no surprise to know that Nintendo is currently leading the charge for gaming in the UK. Wii Fit, Nintendo's family-orientated fitness programme, was at the top spot in the UK charts for seven consecutive weeks. Its worldwide sales numbers are staggering, with 18.2 million...

It will probably come as no surprise to know that Nintendo is currently leading the charge for gaming in the UK. Wii Fit, Nintendo's family-orientated fitness programme, was at the top spot in the UK charts for seven consecutive weeks. Its worldwide sales numbers are staggering, with 18.2 million Wii Fits having been sold worldwide, alongside 18.4 million Wii Plays and 15.4 million Mario Karts.

Today, the UK games publishers' trade body (ELSPA), has released software sales figures for the first half of 2009. Both the individual platform charts and all format charts (combined sales from each platform the game is released on) confirm Nintendo's gaming dominance. Wii Fit, Wii Play, and Mario Kart Wii had combined sales of 1.65 million units for the period, making up the top three in the individual chart, while Wii Fit held the top spot in the all format battle. Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training also hit lifetime sales figures of over 3 million units, making it the most popular game in the UK.

Michael Rawlinson, ELSPA's directory general, believes the figures represent a clear transition of gaming into the mainstream saying: "The demographic has changed, so it's time we did away with the misperception that video games are merely the preserve of teenage boys shooting zombies. Innovation in the industry means the social and educational benefits of gaming are now enjoyed by players of both sexes and of all ages."

The success of casual games has long been predicted to eat into the development time intended for the traditional hardcore gaming audience. At the 2008 GDC, PlayFirst CEO John Welch commented that the "The Promise of Casual Games" would soon make them more popular than hardcore titles. Another report by Forbes last year suggested that Europe in particular prefers casual gaming to bloody first-person shooters.

Forbes cited the sales figures for Halo 3, which had sold 900,000 in the UK, but over 4.8 million in the US. Conversely, casual titles, such as Brain Training had sold 2.8 million units, and FIFA 2008 sold 2.3 million copies. Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek and makers of the hit FPS Crysis, also commented on gaming in Europe suggesting that Europeans believe shooters to be "evil."

This year's E3 also saw each major console maker unveil a new motion controller, aimed squarely at the burgeoning casual gamer market. Microsoft unveiled "Project Natal" a full-body tracking device, Sony unveiled a Wii-Remote like peripheral for the PlayStation 3, while Nintendo expanded upon its current tech with Wii MotionPlus.

However, it's not all bad news for those uninspired by Italian plumbers and yoga stretches--hardcore games are still selling. Sony's critically acclaimed FPS Killzone 2 on PS3 managed to nab the number five spot, with Resident Evil 5 on the Xbox 360 taking number six, and Call of Duty: World At War on the Xbox 360 grabbing the number nine spot in the individual format charts.

Things look even rosier for the hardcore in the all format charts with Call of Duty: World At War managing to take number three, Resident Evil 5 taking four, and Street Fighter IV taking number nine.

Check out the full list below.

Games Top Ten for Individual Formats – First Half 2009

1 Wii Fit (Wii)
2 Wii Play (Wii)
3 Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
4 Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)
5 Killzone 2 (PS3)
6 Resident Evil 5 (XB360)
7 Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training (DS)
8 The Sims 3 (PC)
9 Call of Duty: World At War (XB360)
10 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii)

Games Top Ten for ALL Formats - First Half 2009

1 Wii Fit (Wii)
2 FIFA 09 (XB360/PS3/PSP/WII/PS2/DS/PC)
3 Call of Duty: World at War (XB360/PS3/WII/PS2/PC/DS)
4 Resident Evil 5 (XB360/PS3)
5 Wii Play (Wii)
6 Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
7 Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)
8 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii/DS)
9 Street Fighter IV (PS3/XB360)
10 Guitar Hero: World Tour (WII/XB360/PS3/PS2)

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54 comments
Dumper1
Dumper1

What a sad time for gaming, all the people that have kept Nintendo in business over the decades have mostly been forgotten with this kiddie gaming crap.

Paladin_King
Paladin_King

*sigh* so this sucks. Also, how the hell did Mario & Sonic Olympics crack the top ten? That's random.

karlt321
karlt321

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

hobowan
hobowan

@krytorii I agree that in many ways its grating to see these games do so well, when other, perhaps more deserving games flop in comparison. Madworld is the best example of this imo - i despise the fact it is so overlooked but i guess its in the eye of the beholder,- its grating to us as we dont like carnival games and think its pretty poo...but to the poeple who bought it, its probably not too bad, and they may not understand the appeal of chainsawing guys in half! i also think this cross of rubbish games diluting the software gene pool is borne only by wii owners, because these games simply wouldnt sell on ps3/360, so any developer wanting to make a game on those consoles will produce a mature, higher quality title which would actually sell. lastly...and i only have vgchartz to go by...these shovelware games actually dont really sell that much...per title, other than carnival games, the sales are low...its just there are so many of them on the shelves! again though, i think this is a cross for wii owners to bear, and ps360 owners needent worry, and should be secure and content in the knowledge that my little princess pony babysitting club 4 will never land on a ps3 shelf, and killzone 2 wouldnt have sold anymore than it has if wii fit and wii sports never came along :)

krytorii
krytorii

@hobowan i know what your saying, but it gets on my nerves that a good game with lots of depth/gameplay/etc gets outsold by some game thats as deep as a paddling pool.... i know it sounds bad but i own a wii and ps3, and love games like FF AND wii play, both have their goodpoints, but its like watching, say, barny the dinosaur books outselling the dark tower or some other similar book.... i just think that too many people are jumping on the bandwagon with the "casual" games, like carnival games, that birthday one, etc. and diverting funding from the more expensive, deeper games

hobowan
hobowan

as i said before, their existance, and my kid and wifes choice of software doesnt change a thing about your own gaming life or what appears on your console, or what sells on your console. Nor does it affect mine, so let wii-fit sell. let wii-play sell, who cares? who cares if they are higher on some random multi-format chart? you still love your console and games right? and they still love their fitness 30 day challenges. nothing to do with anyone except those who bought whatever they wanted to buy. sorry for the poor etiquette triple post, but i hate character limits, and it really gets my goat when people talk about this, because people are just moaning out of jealousy really - it is jealousy not because they want the success of the wii, or want to own a wii, but because they dont like the fact that the wii is doing so well...but the simple truth is, the wii hasnt really anything to do with the other consoles, with very few games both on the wii and the ps360s, and isnt even really a competitor anymore, so its like punching a guy in the back when hes walking away from a fight.

hobowan
hobowan

as far as i see it, the ONLY people who have a right to bemoan the amount of tripe games on the wii, are "core" wii owners, or pswii or wii60 people like myself, who are having to put up with walking into game stores and seeing my little princess pony babysitting club 4 sitting on top of madworld, as it is reducing the quality of what is available to the wii if this is what developers are seeing as the most profitable option when making a wii game. To a ps3 only or 360 only console owner what difference does it make whats selling on the wii shelves? these third party atrocities are nothing to do with nintendo...it is not their decision to make all this tripe, so again, dont flame them. However...while this is tripe to me, its not to everyone, ...my daughter i happen to know, in a few years time, will LOVE my little princess pony babysitting club 4, so im sure ill probably end up buying it for her. if anyone has a problem with a little girl being able to choose a nice game about ponies instead of grand theft auto or killzone, then perhaps they need to see someone... if you slam these games' successes and the existance of games and software that ps3 and 360 dont offer, you are saying that little children and girlfriends and middle class families and even pensioners dont deserve to play on consoles, and shouldnt have games available to them. you are saying there should only be "core" games.

hobowan
hobowan

the thing i dont get about all these arguments, is that the different consoles really are that - different consoles...they have no bearing on eachothers software sales...me buying games on my wii and 360 hasnt got anything to do with ps3 game sales...so what if people are buying wii fit...if they want to thats fine, thats their party...my missus for example happens to love her wii fit and ea sports fit active fitness program rubbish...does that stop me buying and playing madworld? metroid? zelda? hotd? okami? SF4? resi 5? dead space? fallout? halo? no! Wii fit and wii play and whatever else seems to offend people selling so much hasnt REDUCED sales of any other game on any other console. all these other games on wii, ps3 and 360 that you are all speaking of that are good in our eyes (eg killzone) would have sold pretty much the same amount whether wii fit existed or not. the people who buy wii-fit, werent holding it up in the shop next to GTA saying hmmm...which should i get... if wii fit never existed - they wouldnt buy a mature game instead - they simply wouldnt have bought anything at all. so why blast nintendo for creating a game that other people want to buy, when it has no bearing on your existance or your console or your games collection? (or mine) Just because i, and the i-hate-wii-because-it-sells-games-i dont-like, and the other more reasonable mature gamers, like mature, core type games. Doesnt mean everyone does. So why are their tastes "wrong" and ours "right"?

lukas1051
lukas1051

@capitalthoughts I probably didn't word it right. Super Mario Galaxy is a great game, probably one of the best for the Wii. And likewise, Lair is a terrible game, probably the worst exclusive for the PS3. I just meant in terms of how capable the machines are, the Wii is closer to a PS2. There is no way in hell you could EVER run a game like Oblivion on a Wii, it's just not strong enough. Although the Wii may be selling the most, I don't really know if you can call it a next gen console. And I think it's a real shame, in terms of quality next gen games are amazing, but people are missing out because they are blinded by things like Carnival Games, Excite Truck, games which are sub-par but receiving similar reviews to PS3 and 360 games. Although I guess when it comes to Wii, people are just expecting less.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Finally - some well deserved recognition for Killzone 2... it is such an awesome game. I still cower in fear just thinking about the AI in that game.... the tepid sales figures I'd seen before just didn't seem to justify it's awesomeness.... and I still haven't given the multiplayer a proper good go on it, I could just play the single player game endlessly.

darklight4
darklight4

i wish Nintendo would go back to making consoles like the 64 or gamecube

joynul
joynul

Well glad to see killzone doing well its a really good game. wonder what the worldwide sales figures for infamous are at the moment and prototype

Mr_Versipellis
Mr_Versipellis

Not AGAIN! This is really starting to tick me off now! I mean, PlaneScape: torment sold, like, 20,000 copies. Compare that to these casual Wii games, and you get one big bundle of UNFAIR.

lukemularczyk
lukemularczyk

"Forbes cited the sales figures for Halo 3, which had sold 900,000 in the UK, but over 4.8 million in the US. Conversely, casual titles, such as Brain Training had sold 2.8 million units, and FIFA 2008 sold 2.3 million copies. Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek and makers of the hit FPS Crysis, also commented on gaming in Europe suggesting that Europeans believe shooters to be "evil."" No we don't buy millions of copies of games like halo 3 because while it was a good game, most europeans arn't the whooping "pwnzers" that inhabit xbox live so we get bored quicker! "Don't worry guys, the only winner of the console wars will be either Sony or Microsoft, Nintendo cant win because they don't have a next generation console, i'v seen more processing power in a toaster." Err no, this generation the other two have one hell of a way to go to beat nintendo, just saying "they have no processing power" is a stupid excuse, the PS3 is apparently the most powerful of all the consoles, but it still can't handle iplayer properly if i hit the "full screen" button, starts having a 3 second delay as it tries to enlarge the image! It all boils down to target markets, 95% of the people who got wii fit/wii play will not visit a site like this, because they are not that interested in gaming as a whole but wanna have a bit of fun, whereas the "hardcore" lot will buy games visit sites like this and thumbs down anything that disagree with there point of view about games.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Nintendo are a business. In business you go where the money is. End of story. You don't like it then don't buy their consoles, grow up and quit complaining.

DAAVV-O
DAAVV-O

I'd rather go to work than play Wii fit or Wii play! Look on the bright side though - the Wii is basically a fashion trend, bought by the same kind of clueless people that spend 80 quid on a pair of ripped jeans and think that the pinnacle of televisual entertainment is Big Brother. I wish Nintendo would go back to the philosophy of development they had for the Gamecube. That had some great games, and was on an even keel (in terms of hardware specifications) with the rest of the market, so games could be ported over from other consoles (SSX Tricky, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow...).

joesh89
joesh89

if this is the way the future of gaming is heading, you can count me out.

Stabby
Stabby

Shame... thats all I can say...

coltACP
coltACP

Well the wii is what made this generation exciting for me, it's tried something a little different and i am glad it is succeeding.I have both a Wii and PS3 and love them both for their various titles.Oh and this casual games nonesense is just that, go and play tiger woods 2010 on Wii it's hardcore and casual all in one, purely a well made video game, brackets are for people living in the 90's still, all of the consoles this generation have some superb games even the 360 (which i consider the weakest this gen).You just got to play the right ones for you, having been a gamer since i was 5 i know what games i like and the Wii's take on those genres and styles is brilliant-fave FPS's resistance 2 and Medal of honour heroes 2 :-)

snake289
snake289

See this is the reason why I've lost all respect in Nintendo talk about selling out.

werruraz
werruraz

Don't worry guys, the only winner of the console wars will be either Sony or Microsoft, Nintendo cant win because they don't have a next generation console, i'v seen more processing power in a toaster. Maybe they should start comparing how well the Iphone is doing againest the NDS and PSP.

khariss
khariss

as much as i dislike the casual gaming thing i have to give Nintendo props they took a risk and it paid of. i have a ps3 and neither sony or microsoft broke the mold with there consoles so good on nintendo

jarvis008
jarvis008

Well it's sickening to see crap games dominating the charts but we all knew this was the case anyway. The bit about Halo 3 selling comparatively badly in the UK is really dumb. The US has 5 times the population of the UK and sold just over 5 times the amount of copies in the UK. It makes no sense.

vengeance00
vengeance00

actually cube-gage, Halo was the game that saved the original xbox. Microsoft saw a demo of it at an E3 (i think) and they were so interested in it that they put money into it and bought half of bungie to help fund it's development. Its pretty well known that Halo saved the original xbox from a early retirement, GTA had nothing to do with it. not really impressed with sales figures, come back when red steel 2 turns out to be a success unlike its prequal.

blaze11987
blaze11987

Well Nintendo are making a fortune, but they are seriously hurting the entire industry as a whole for the people that are not 'casual gamers'. Nintendo's business model has suddenly made it ok to release sub-standard games, knowing fine well that people will buy it anyway. Someone else commented on saying how Nintendo aim their products at middle class targets, and that is completely true. Most Wii products and games are purchased by middle class PARENTS for their children and it's the parents who can't tell the difference between a quality game and a shoddy one because they don't know any better, and now it's getting to the stage where other developers on other consoles are grudging paying the millions of dollars to develop a quality game only to see it pushed to the side by a game called 'its my birthday' for the Wii. I used to respect Nintendo for their excellent games and consoles before the Wii came out because some of my first gaming experiences were on a SNES console but they lost that respect when they became happy with just churning out rubbish games off of a conveyor belt and misleading the public. (stats show that the Wii Fit has little or no actual excercise value attatched to it but still sell you it for £70) Plus when the Wii Motion Plus was released, they might as well have said 'The remote we sold you with the console was crap, so we'l charge you £20 to fix it :D' Nintendo are just taking the p*** out of the customer and they don't even realise it.

cube-gage
cube-gage

Wii wins because Nintendo marketed the Wii at middle class families. Now middle class families like it because they dont get their kids violent games, they also believe in the motion control gimick of jumping around the room and waving your arms. In reality most of the time you play a Wii sitting down. And ofcourse these middle class parents will buy more games than anyone else. And people are stupid enough to think the Wii is good value. £180 for a revamped gamecube, please the GC was only £130 at launch. You can get a 360 for £160 and a PS3 at £265 is well worth it. In a way im glad that nintendo has found success after ultimately failing with the GC and N64. But I also hate the strategy of not competing with the other consoles. I hope nintys next console has compareable power and features to its rivals, and I hope it makes damn sure to buy games such as GTA. Not having GTA is what killed the GC, and GTA is the reason Xbox eventually became popular. Its sad that Sega's console days are over, even though they have more to offer than Nintendo. I would like to see Sega and Nintendo merge and release a console together. that would be amazing.

StarlightHunter
StarlightHunter

The Wii is extreemly popular here in the UK so this is no suprise for me, 2 years ago they were hard to get hold of at christmas while you could find 360's and alot of PS3 since they were stupidly over priced (yes at the PS3) on the shelves.

drivinggod2005
drivinggod2005

Nintendo isn't even trying to compete with any other console or manufacturer.................................so why are all the PS3 and 360 fanboys complaining about this? It's not like they're care about how Nintendo's doing anyway!!!!!

benleslie5
benleslie5

Killzone 2 did well on sales, since it's the only PS3 game on the list.

darklight86
darklight86

The Wii wins at err failing as a games console.

Darkman2007
Darkman2007

that sales figure for Halo 3 for both the US and UK is quite misleading. considering the US has a population around 5 times that of the UK (300 million people in the US, 60 million in the UK) its expected to have more sales, plus the fact that the 360 is less popular in the UK then it is in the US, it makes it kinda obvious. in regards to the other sales figures, well what do they expect there are more people new to games who play Wii fit then there are traditional gamers,its simple demographics

rgame1
rgame1

holy mackarel!! Thats huge!

penpusher
penpusher

lukas1051 I think youve had a bad experiance with the wii,,,generaly the quality of games is brilliant (and this from a 360 owner) just because the games tend to go for fun rather than multi core backed high end graphics like the other two doesnt mean its crap. And not to mention its more than a novelty, novelty doesnt sell so much its because the wii is different aka trying something new rather than just another upgraded version of the same console we've seen since the 1980's

capitalthoughts
capitalthoughts

@lukas1051 Yeah, but the Wii doesn't really count. Technically the games are generally crap, in terms of quality they can't really stand up against the PS3, 360 and PC games What scientific basis are you using to make this declaration? Were you comparing Mario Galaxy, for example, against PS3's Lair in terms of quality a game it can't stand up too? Think before you troll.

penpusher
penpusher

erm "europians beleive shooters to be evil"???? wtf? I dont think the dude form crytek should be allowed near public relations ever again! I'm from the UK which is part of EUROPE (well you ould argue that but meh) and I love em, infact I think that casual games are evil!

Ganados0
Ganados0

The big N says once their console business goes, their games biz goes with it, they wont develop for other platforms, with their handhelds selling like crazy and now the Wii following suit they have little reason to change. So long as this funds the next Zelda, Mario and Metroid the better.

cyborg100000
cyborg100000

Wii Fit jesus christ just count that out as a game please. It's called gym people!

Arcyanix
Arcyanix

What's the problem?? Nintendo was doing pretty badly with the Gamecube being overshadowed by the PS2 and the XBOX and people said that nintendo might give in and start creating games for other consoles and it's only the Japanese market keeping them alive. Now Nintendo are at the top which was very unexpected but Very deserved they personally make the best games, they are high quality, even there manuals are full colour and have there own artwok. Good Job Nintendo. I will continue to play my 360.

Mossdrome
Mossdrome

@milanoir: Mario Kart Wii is not a competitive game. It's a joke. Mario Kart GCN was a fairly good game in competitive play, but the Wii version cripples it by making who wins almost random. Talk to any high level player of any of the previous versions and they will tell you something is seriously wrong with MKW. @all: This is the consequence of gaming becoming more and more mainstream. Less titles to please specific facets of in-depth/hardcore gamers and more titles to please all the previous demographics that gaming didn't reach out to before. Is this good for the advancement of games? No. Is it good for publisher's pockets? Yes.

Inconnux
Inconnux

"The demographic has changed, so it's time we did away with the misperception that videogames are merely the preserve of teenage boys shooting zombies." This is what happens when a market grows up. It gains widespread appeal instead of Niche appeal. The problem with a lot of developers is that they still develop only for the teenage boy. Of course this demographic is the one that defines only their games as 'hardcore'. Sales are only reflecting reality. There is no way that I would consider Mario kart less hardcore than any FPS game on any list... Wii fit? that I can understand, but not Mario Kart. As for FPS games perhaps they would sell better if there was some innovation? 99% of FPS games are generic copies of doom/quake very few of them have tried something new.

lukas1051
lukas1051

Still, I can't criticise Nintendo's strategy. I mean when you release just about any game which is made, be it Disney princess, Hannah Montana or various other crap, people are bound to buy it.

lukas1051
lukas1051

Yeah, but the Wii doesn't really count. Technically the games are generally crap, in terms of quality they can't really stand up against the PS3, 360 and PC games. The fact that everybody and their grandma owns a Wii, and it willing to buy any piece of crap game for it because they are not aware of next gen quality games it the reason the Wii does so well. Without the novelty, it would be nothing.

daveg1
daveg1

just sickening..

cockneyscouse
cockneyscouse

WOW. This really is a slow news week, so GS prints the obvious, to start another fan-boy fight. *silent clap*

Jono789
Jono789

@Coruscant : nope you get a thumbs UP for being right XD

coruscant
coruscant

I can't believe that out of Xbox 360 and PS3, only PS3 got an exclusive into the individual format top 10 - take that Microsoft! Yeah, thumb me down for fanboyism, you know you want to. But it only shows I'm right :)

swamplord666
swamplord666

oh dear... I remember being in stores around christmas and seeing middle aged people coming out with Wii Fit under their arms and dying inside :(