Mario now a historical number two

Wii Sports might – repeat might – be the new best-selling game ever, topping Super Mario Bros.

Nintendo has just published a list of all its games which sold more than a million copies last year, along with their respective lifetime sales; Wii Sports is listed at 45.7 million sales. That’s just above the 40.23 million listed by Guinness World Records for Super Mario Bros on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

It’s worth noting that the Mario figure is as of 2006, so there’s a slim possibility it’s still above the Wii Sports total thanks to download sales through Nintendo’s virtual console service. Nintendo isn’t confirming or denying that Wii Sports has overtaken its sales figures.

There’s also some debate online about whether copies sold as part of a console bundle should be counted in such figures. Given that bundles vary in different markets, it would be difficult to work out figures for standalone sales only. It’s also debatable to what extent particular games can be the driving force for the console sale itself: without demonstrations of Wii Sports, the concept of the Wii as a console for all the family and the motion controllers features might have been harder to market.

The other figures suggest both the Wii and the DS are doing a great job of attracting new users to the games markets. There are now more than 22 million people owning Nintendogs and 17 million using Brain Age, while Wii Play and Wii Fit have 40 million sales between them. These may not be the titles of choice for the hardcore gamer, but it’s proof that video games don’t have to appeal to a narrow demographic to succeed.

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