Wii U Sales Up After Wii Party U Sells 80,000 Units During Launch Week

Wii U sales have spiked in Japan thanks in large part to the release of Wii Party U and its great opening sales numbers.

Wii U Party sold around 80,000 copies in its launch week in Japan. "Wii Party U is the first Wii U title to make it into the top 10 in a while," said visual studies professor at Ritsumeikan University, Akinori Nakamura, to Famitsu magazine. "Considering that the Wii U still has a while to go in terms of hardware propagation, selling nearly 80,000 copies in the first is a pretty decent number."

In the first week of November alone, Japan sold 40,000 Wii U units, a 1,500 percent increase. In September they sold about 1,000 a week reported Polygon.

"Family/party games are always strong holiday sellers, and you can see how this game might be a long-seller," Nakamura said. "Casual games like these have moved over to smartphones and tablets in droves as of late. Wii Party U has taken assorted steps to emphasize the experience of playing in front of a big screen; it's a 'casual' title, but on a design level, it's very different from a smartphone game."

Wii Party U was released on October 31 in Japan and on October 25 in the U.S. and Europe.

Nintendo recently confirmed that the Wii U sold over 460,000 around the world in the last 6 months in a time period ending on September 30. Altogether, the console sold 300,000 units last quarter, a significant increase from the 160,000 the previous quarter.

Nintendo also sold 6.3 million units of software in the last 6 months, and a total of 3.91 million Wii U's since launch reports IGN.

"Their sales remain pretty weak, so although the price cut helped, it isn't enough of a turnaround to instill confidence that sales will rebound," Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told NBC News.

Wii U sales have gone up by over 200 percent in the U.S. from August to September, and 685 percent in the UK.

"We haven't had the sales we wanted on Wii U hardware. We haven't had the software for most of this year. But we have some quite ambitious numbers, particularly with some of our biggest franchises coming," said U.K. marketing director Shelly Pearce. "Our monthly tracking shows that Wii remains the No.1 console for brand awareness. This offers us a massive opportunity to convert Wii owners to Wii U."