The hype is real.
It took Mario Kart 8 to reverse the period of negative economic growth and financial downturn that Nintendo had been experiencing for a while now. But that Mario Kart 8 would be a hit should have been known all along- not only was it the latest entry in a series that has the highest selling game ever included in its ranks, but the hype and player anticipation for it was amazingly high, especially as evidenced by the pre-order numbers.
And now, in news that is sure to make Nintendo giddy, it appears that anticipation for Smash Bros. on Wii U is even higher- its pre-order numbers have now officially surpassed the pre-order numbers for Mario Kart 8, and we are still ten days out from release.
“The launch of Mario Kart 8 has essentially doubled our Wii U sales year-on-year,” Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said. “Presales for Smash are stronger than the presales for Kart. So our expectation is that the sell-through for Smash is going to be very strong, certainly on par with what we saw with Mario Kart 8. We think the impact on hardware will be similarly dramatic.”
Of course, Mario Kart 8’s sales were amazing and almost unprecedented- as of September 30, 2014, the game had sold 3.5 million copies worldwide to an install base of roughly 7 million Wii U systems, meaning it has an attach rate of literally 50%. If Smash Bros. can manage similar sales, Nintendo will be very happy, indeed.