Nintendo Wii Causing a Storm in Korea

By Adam Riley 25.05.2008 2

Following the much belated release of the Wii console in South Korea last month, Korean website has revealed just how well the system has been doing in its first month on sale. According to the site Nintendo of Korea shipped 50,000 Wii units to the market at launch on 26th April, alongside launch games like Wii Play, Wii Sports, Zak & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure, Super Swing Golf Pangya! 2 and FIFA Soccer 08.

With roughly 35,000 systems sold so far it looks like Nintendo already has a hit on its hands thanks to a strong marketing campaign featuring popular Korean actors and actresses, such as 'heart-throb' Won Bin clad in the usual white outfit swishing his arms around to promote Wii Sports. As in Japan, the sports package is being sold separately and was the month's biggest seller, with over 30,000 copies sold. The two next biggest sellers were the PC-like Zack & Wiki from Capcom and the Korean-developer Pangya! 2 (from Korean developer Ntreev Soft who did the original PC games, published by Tecmo), each with around 8,000 sales each. The only other sales figure quoted was a paltry 2,000 units for EA's FIFA 08, clearly because that game has been available for every other format in South Korea for quite a long time now. Perhaps Konami would be wise to quickly get PES 2008 out instead.

Initial reports from Cubed³'s contacts in South Korea point towards the Wii certainly not grabbing the attention of the younger crowd, despite the plethora of TV advertisements and high awareness of Wii Sports, with the playgrounds still buzzing with the Nintendo DS and any game carrying the 'Mario' brand. It leaves you wondering just when Nintendo will unleash Super Mario Galaxy over there.

Update - More information has filtered in revealing that the current hardware lifetime sales for each system are roughly as follows:

  • Nintendo DS - 1,500,000
  • PlayStation 2 - 1,331,000
  • Xbox 360 - 150,000
  • PlayStation 3 - 50,000
  • Wii - 35,000
It is unknown just how well the PSP has done, but earlier reports suggested sales were dead in the water by the time the Nintendo DS Lite launched in January last year. With Wii amassing such strong sales in such a short time, it looks like Sony and Microsoft are likely to be blown out of the water very soon.

Box art for Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure








C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

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Yay! Zack and Wiki is doing well! That's really good to hear.

Well, it's a PC-style game, so the Koreans should love it! It's also one of the best games to show off how the Wii Remote works.

By the way, I've added some hardware lifetime sales, which show just how well Wii is doing so soon after launch.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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