As of now, the Nintendo 3DS has sold more than 1.65 million units since launch in the United States alone. In a press release issued by the company, Nintendo indicated that, given its current trajectory, the system is on pace to outperform the Nintendo DS’ first-year sales. The DS sold just over 2.37 million in its first 12 months at retail.
I feel like the craziest part of this is that the Nintendo 3DS hasn’t really had any original, system-selling software born into its catalogue. Games like Super Mario 3D Land (which actually launched yesterday) and Mario Kart 7 are set to be the biggest system movers Nintendo’s publishing this year, and yet they don’t even figure into these system sales statistics.
As the press release indicates, more than 50% of the Nintendo DS‘ benchmark setting sales happened during the holiday season of its inaugural run. The Nintendo 3DS is about to hit that holiday period, and that will likely boost sales to exceptional levels. If the 3DS actually doubles its current 1.65 million units sold, it will eclipse the DS’ sales mark by more than one million units when its first 12 month cycle concludes.
Gamers and critics alike have been quick to label the 3DS a failure. That conclusion may have been formed out of an absence of great software or a lack of publicized sales statistics. For those naysayers, news that the 3DS is on pace to outshine the best-selling handheld gaming system is history must be simply stunning.
I’m stunned, and I’ve never been one to write-off any new console.
There has been some consideration that Nintendo will release a 3DS bundle that includes Super Mario 3D Land sometime around Black Friday of this year. No official confirmation or denial on that rumor has been doled out just yet. If news of a bundle comes, we’ll be sure to let you know.