The success of Wii Play is attributable to the fact that the collection of nine mini-games is bundled with the Wii remote control. The motion-sensing controller is key to the popularity of the Wii.
Reviews of Wii Play, released in February 2007, have described the collection as fun, but shallow. The compilation includes such games as target shooting, table tennis, and fishing. Metacritic.com gives the collection a score of 58 out of 100, based on 41 reviews.
Nevertheless, bundling the games with the controller for an additional $10 has proven to be a successful strategy in enticing people looking for a second remote for their Wii consoles.
"Even if you believe people are buying Wii Play solely for the controller, that indicates that there are now more than 10 million people who have an extra Wii Remote controller in their homes," Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive VP of sales and marketing, said in a statement released Thursday. "When added to the 12.7 million Wii Remote controllers that have sold separately, this reinforces the growing 'social gaming' trend we have been seeing where friends and family use their Wii games as a social hub -- both in person and online."
In announcing the Wii Play milestone, Nintendo quoted February sales figures for the video-game industry released this week by market researcher NPD Group. As of February, Nintendo has sold 19 million Wii consoles in the United States since releasing the device in November 2006.
The company has also sold 29 million units of the DS alone in the United States since the portable's release in November 2004. In April, Nintendo plans to release in the United States the DSi, the third iteration of the hardware.
Sales of consoles overall, including the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360, rose 11% in February to $532.7 million, according to NPD. The Nintendo Wii and the company's portable console, the DS, continued to lead the market in terms of unit sales at 753,000 and 588,000 units, respectively.
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