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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nintendo 3DS sells 4.5 million in U.S. in first year, smashing DS first-year sales mark

The Nintendo 3DS released March 27, 2011, in the U.S. and while it's technically not one-year-old yet, it's been out in 12 months with sales recorded. And what a 12 months it's been.

It started out strong, with the best launch-day sales in Nintendo's history. Then trouble came. A lack of software caused hardware sales to plummet to the point Nintendo had to slash the 3DS price tag from $250 to $170. Nintendo's apparent doom and gloom spread through the media like wildfire. No one wanted a dedicated gaming handheld anymore, they said. Smartphones can do everything, they touted.

Well today, Nintendo released updated 3DS sales figures, and they look good. Really good. Pretty much, Nintendo's rubbing in the skeptics' faces with their DS comparisons.

The DS sold 2.3 million units in its first year. The 3DS almost doubled that at 4.5 million.
The DS had 58 software titles. The 3DS has more than 100.
The DS sold 5 million games. The 3DS hit 9 million.
The DS raked in $540 million for Nintendo. The 3DS hit $1.2 billion.

So far so good for the 3DS. Now the question is can it keep up the pace? The DS really kicked into gear after its first year, especially after the DS Lite came out. Many have clamored for a 3DS redesign, but looking at sales now I don't expect one soon. The DS has sold more than 51 million in the U.S. and more than 151 million worldwide.

The price cut no doubt helped the 3DS, but it all comes down to games. If Nintendo keeps up with steady releases, the 3DS will just keep on selling.

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