Ignoring the rapidly vanishing lead that the Wii U has over the PS4 and Xbox One, Nintendo released a statement this morning revealing that sales of their 3DS family of handhelds (3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS) have officially surpassed 11.5 million units in the United States alone.
“Nintendo 3DS is a powerhouse with games and experiences that appeal to all kinds of players,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “We’re not slowing down in 2014. With more games featuring fan-favorite franchises on the way, the best days of Nintendo 3DS are still to come.”
Exactly how the US sales of the 3DS stack up against the rest of the world will become more clear after The Big N announces their third quarter earnings on January 29th. With that said, we do know that the 11.5 million US install base appears to be slightly behind the 14.8 million units sold in Japan — where the 3DS basically is the entire video game industry.
In addition to the hardware sales update, Nintendo also noted that software sales for the 3DS in 2013 shot up more than 45 percent year-over-year, hitting 16 million copies in combined retail and digital sales.
While the 3DS struggled out of the gate back in 2011, there is no doubt that Nintendo has successfully turned the handheld around. We personally have two of them in our house, and I have nothing but praise for both the system itself and the software.
Hopefully, Nintendo will be able to pull a similar 3DS-style reversal with the Wii U. I’ve had a blast with the Zelda: Wind Waker bundle that found its way into my living room this last Christmas, and I think it’s a shame that the console has not caught on yet with consumers.