The Wii U is in a serious hole – so much so that I highly doubt any one game will be able to single-handedly provide adequate rescue, no matter how many units it sells. That said, the so-far fruitful release of Pikmin 3 in Japan combined with a tasty serving of New Super Luigi U on the side has helped to move some significant Wii U stock for the first time since, well, a while.
Since its Japanese release on the 13th, Miyamoto’s adorably lethal plant-beings have managed to swing over 92,000 units sold, with no indication of slowing down. Luigi U settled for the five-spot on the list, netting over 24,000 units in addition to the digital version which has already been released. For what is essentially DLC gussied up in a pretty green box, that’s mighty impressive.
The games’ success did, as mentioned, translate into a spike for Wii U sales, with 22,000 systems shifting into the hands of consumers over the course of last week.
Will Pikmin 3 be able to jump-start the Wii U in a similar fashion upon its release stateside? It’s difficult to say, but we do at least know that the game is receiving positive critical reception in Japan thus far. Famitsu awarded the game an overall ranking of 37/40, with one of the four reviewers assigning a perfect 10, the other three settling on still-impressive 9s across the board.
Given that the game has been Shigeru Miyamoto’s main focus for quite some time now — and previews thus far are looking good — there’s little reason to believe Pikmin 3 won’t be just as well received when it finally washes up on American shores this August.
As the first game in a chain of monthly high quality releases for Wii U starting next month and continuing well into 2014, Pikmin 3‘s arrival may just be the first step on the road to recovery for the ailing Wii U. If the 3DS has taught us anything, it’s that a system’s fortunes can shift in the blink of an eye with the right games and the right timing, so here’s hoping lightning strikes twice for Nintendo in the coming months.