Nintendo today released its latest financial report, covering the period from April to December 2015. It shows that Wii U hardware and software sales both increased year-on-year, helping to boost the Japanese gaming giant’s profits in an increasingly competitive $91 billion gaming market.
Splatoon was the standout Wii U software performer for Nintendo, with the colorful third-person shooter selling over 4 million copies between its May release and the end of the year. Worldwide Wii U hardware sales for the period rose slightly to 3.06 million, and Wii U software sales grew by around 2 million to 22.6 million — interestingly, most of that growth came from Japan, while both software and hardware sales in North and South America declined.
Releasing popular “blockbuster” titles like Splatoon and Super Mario Maker (which sold 3.3 million copies) was key to boosting interest in the Wii U, especially with Nintendo currently working on a mysterious new console, the Nintendo NX. These strong Wii U sales — along with the popularity of Nintendo’s Amiibo figures and increased sales of digital downloadable content — helped Nintendo to post an operating income of 42.4 billion yen ($351 million), up 34 percent from the previous year.
The Wii U has now sold 12.6 million units worldwide, which puts it a long way behind the current market leader, the PlayStation 4, which has sold over 35 million units to date. Microsoft hasn’t released recent sales figures for its Xbox One, the third player in the home console war, but recent estimates put it in second place with around 19M sales.