Wii Sports: the best selling game of all time

Wii Sports, the popular sports game bundled with the Nintendo Wii console in most countries, has now shipped 40.52 million units making it the biggest selling console game ever.

According to data from VGChartz, 40 million copies have been sold in the 110 weeks it has been on sale. The game is packed into the Wii console package in all countries apart from Japan and South Korea where it is available on general sale. The game has now overtaken Super Mario Bros. to top the list, with Mario only at 40.24 million units. Super Mario Bros. was also bundled with a console, but in 1985 the NES was the popular console of choice.

The top 5 list is completed with the original Pokemon series (Blue, Red, Green) at number 3, Tetris at number 4, and the classic Duck Hunt at number 5. The rest of the top of the list is filled with various Mario, Pokemon and Grand Theft Auto games amongst others.

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The problem with pack-ins is that there's only one way to know if the end-user actually wanted the game or if it was just a bonus included with a product they were already going to purchase = ask each and every consumer who purchased said product.

If someone purchased oh say an Xbox and a copy of Halo then you know that Halo, for them, was in fact a system seller. Once Halo becomes a pack-in then the waters are completely muddied. Now you don't know if people are purchasing the system for the pack-in or if the pack-in is simply icing.

Sure you can look at tie-in ratio and the like but who's to say that the console with pack-in and the actual game they wanted the system for aren't completely separate purchases? (it could be a gift or someone could be tight on cash that month and waiting for their "real" game purchase or who knows what) The only way to find out is to ask each end-user.

In effect, it taints the game's sales forever once it is packed-in for any region. You'll never be able to separate who bought what and why but you can sure as hell fudge the numbers and lie calling Wii Sports the best selling game of all time when it's really just a pack-in that most everyone ends up with whether they want it or not.

I don't think that people are picking up 360s for Sega Superstars Tennis or Kung-Fu Panda but their respective publishers will sure as sh*t count those as sales.

The real question to ask people is: "If game X were not included with the system would you have purchased it on it's own?" Given the sorry choices made for pack-in games these days I'd wager that that answer is going to be no.

Wii Sports is fun and neat but when it's by itself on a shelf for $50 it's a f*cking tech demo and not worth the asking price. How many people would rather save $50 off of their console purchase instead of having Wii Sports packed-in? How many people would rather pay full price and select their own game? Would they chose Wii Sports over everything else?

See pack-ins don't count because no developer/publisher is ever going to ask every single end-user if the pack-in was a sale or a freebie that they could give two sh*ts about.

What a stupid title (I don't blame the news poster...every site is reporting it in the same ignorant way!)

I would say that a good portion of people who buy the Wii look forward to playing Wii Sports. It is a family friendly game that everyone can enjoy and that is why it would sell well.

However, I know this is not the case for everyone, as you -dont- have a choice (at least in USA) when purchasing the system whether or not you want Wii Sports included.

The "Best selling game of all time" should be classified as strictly game only purchase, not something that primarily comes as a bonus...

Now if the article was boasting the Wii Play game as best selling ever... different story

True, however, how many of those ever made it out of their sleeves? At least most Wii Sports discs got to go for a spin in the Wii...

I bet Wii Sports sold a lot because when everyone heard about the Wii, they were happily trying to get their family and friends hooked on video games. Gaming is social, and the more people involved, the more fun it is. Mario Party and SSB had been popular recently and multiplayer is addictive. The idea that the Wii was a fun and new system that promised to revitalize gaming at a time when sequels and copycats were all you could find, just created a phenomenon that really shot hype for the Wii through the roof and made sure everyone heard about it and knew that it would be fun for the average person. All this and the Wii was the cheapest system, so parents were pretty much guaranteed to buy it, especially those who had grown up on video games themselves. It's like the perfect storm. No surprise Wii Sports is doing so well.

Keep in mind that Wii Sports is only bundled in some locations.

In other locations, it is sold as a stand-alone game. So, many people are buying it just like any other game on the shelves.

Xenomorph said,
Keep in mind that Wii Sports is only bundled in some locations.

In other locations, it is sold as a stand-alone game. So, many people are buying it just like any other game on the shelves.


The ONLY place where Wii Sports is NOT bundled is Japan. It is bundled everywhere else. Where are you getting your information??

roadwarrior said,

The ONLY place where Wii Sports is NOT bundled is Japan. It is bundled everywhere else. Where are you getting your information??

It isn't bundled in South Korea either according to VGChartz.

VGChartz says over 3 million copies of Wii Sports was sold in Japan alone.

Aahz said,
Pack-ins don't count. Never have and never will.

Agreed. And it says in the article that it's shipped 40 million copies, not sold. There's a difference between the two!

The actual best-selling game of all time is Super Mario World on the SNES: over 20 million copies. (Don't mention Super Mario Bros. on the NES. That was a pack-in like Wii Sports)

MightyJordan said,
Agreed. And it says in the article that it's shipped 40 million copies, not sold. There's a difference between the two!

The actual best-selling game of all time is Super Mario World on the SNES: over 20 million copies. (Don't mention Super Mario Bros. on the NES. That was a pack-in like Wii Sports)

Uh, Super Mario World was a pack-in as well. It came with my SNES.

I personally think Wii Sports may be the best game on the Wii (for bowling alone lol). That's the only thing I ever want to play when I go to my friend's place and they fire up the Wii. Honestly though, I really don't think they should even count Wii Sports, because it comes in the box with the system. People are buying the Wii, not Wii Sports (except in Japan where they got shafted).

perochan said,
they HAVE to get it cuz it is already bundled with Wii... and the game has low replay value...

The game has great replay value and is tons of fun. It is NOT bundled with all Wiis.
Millions of copies are sold on store shelves.

Xenomorph said,
Millions of copies are sold on store shelves.


Where? Nowhere that I'm aware of (at least not in the US). According to Wikipedia, it is bundled with the Wii in all areas except Japan, which would seem to imply that the only place you can actually buy Wii Sports on the shelf in a store would be there (why would someone need to buy it if it came with their system?).

I think the fact alone that it is not bundled in Japan and South Korea can easily reach the figure of "millions". However as far as Im aware everywhere in the UK it is bundled.

The console is bought, Wii Sports is "bundled" with it, like a bonus gift. Thats entirely different to being "sold".

it still got bought though

Shipped and bought are two entirely different things. 40 million copies don't mean a thing when it came with the system. Game and software companies like to skew their numbers.