Famitsu-numbers for the first week of New Super Mario Bros. Wii are out. It sold spectacular 936,734 units. That´s basically the whole of Super Mario Galaxy in just one week. And it´s rather safe to assume that the new 2D-Mario game for Nintendo´s Wii will keep on selling, reaching two million and beyond. Why is that that there is such a huge difference in sales between 3D- and 2D-Mario games?
Maybe the biggest reason is in the nature of 3D and 2D, but when I gave it a thought I realized something.
No 3D-Mario game has ever been set in the Mushroom Kingdom. They never featured Mario´s home world. We all know the typical level-designs of 2D-Marios and what the Mushroom Kingdom looks like. Now take a look at 3D-Marios. Super Mario 64 took us into paintings. Super Mario Sunshine made up a holiday place. And Super Mario Galaxy put us into space. None of these games feature the coherent Mushroom Kingdom that most 2D-Mario games do.
Do I think that this is the single solution to sales? No. But it´d be nice to see a 3D-Mario game finally explore the Mushroom Kingdom´s potential.