And now, for today’s how-is-that-possible segment. According to recent sales reports, Nintendo’s 3DS handheld has sold more units in Japan, Nintendo’s home turf, than the uber-popular and notoriously mainstream original Wii. What?! I’m still processing it myself.
The new info comes from Media Create, the Japanese sales tracking group, and their numbers tell us that the 3DS has managed to finagle 12,752,731 units into the hands of the Japanese public. As told, that just surpasses the Wii’s 12,698,878.
The shocking thing about all this, to me, is the speed at which 3DS has accomplished this feat. I mean, there hasn’t even been a proper Pokémon release yet! The 3DS has been around since 2011, while the Wii has had since 2006 to rack up its numbers, and the Wii’s popularity even trickled so far down as to appear on local news programs (the ultimate sign that you’ve attracted the public eye, obviously). That said, handhelds are cheaper and generally sell more units than their console counterparts (successful handhelds, that is), so it’s not entirely illogical. It’s just hard to imagine anything outselling the Wii on its home turf, nevermind in half the time.
The massive success for 3DS is no doubt due to its excellent software library, to the point that 12 of Japan’s 20 top-selling games are 3DS entries. Monster Hunter 4, much to nobody’s surprise, eclipsed overall sales entirely on its own this past week.
Also to keep in mind – this is all before the release of 2DS. And, as mentioned, before the release of Pokémon X and Y. The potential for this system to rack up absurdly high sales numbers over the course of its life has never been more evident, and we may even see Nintendo’s fantasy world of everybody walking around exchanging StreetPass data all day long become a reality. I’m already shocked by how often I pickup fellow 3DS owners day-to-day as it is.
And yet, there’s still no sign of the Wii U in this conversation. Sigh. Well, at least now we know Nintendo will probably have enough cash to keep it on life support if necessary. Thanks, 3DS.