Mario To Save Retail?


Today finally marks the release of the New Super Mario Bros game in Europe.

The game is the first 2D platforming title in the Mario series since the days of Yoshi’s Island on the Super Nintendo, and reviews for the title as expected have been phenomenal across the board. The game takes players on a nostalgic trip down memory lane in the Mushroom kingdom, with Mario causing all kinds of mischief whilst trying to save the princess. But this time round it’s not just consumers looking out and awaiting this game with sweaty palms, it’s also retailers.

This current period of time in retail lingo has been branded as the ‘traditional quiet period’ due to World Cup starting back up again over the weekend, and the hot weather, which all seem set to dry up gaming sales. Even the fantastic DS Lite and Grand theft Auto: Liberty Stories haven’t been able to overcome a period which many retailers are branding ‘dire’. Though with the release of both the Ds Lite and the new addition to the Grand Theft Auto franchise on the PlayStation 2, both pieces of hardware and software helped lead the way in game sales last week. Without both, the overall gaming sales figures for last week would have looked terrible.

Steve ‘O Brien head of Action Replay had this to say on the current state of retail in the games industry: “This summer is all about treading water and waiting for the things that are better to come. “It’s paramount we don’t all take our eye off the ball as market share is obviously going to be important when it comes to allocation for new formats. It’s almost the worst summer I’ve ever seen in terms of releases and the consumers’ response to them.”

Its looking ever more apparent that Mario’s mission this time is not only to save the Princess, but also to help save gaming retail. That Italian plumber certainly carries a fair amount of burdens on his shoulder, but if anyone is likely to pull it off it’s ‘a Mario…


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