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Here's how well the Nintendo 3DS is selling in the U.S.
Here's how well the Nintendo 3DS is selling in the U.S.
January 10, 2014 | By Mike Rose

January 10, 2014 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    21 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



The Nintendo Wii U may be struggling to achieve decent sales, but Nintendo is still counting on its 3DS handheld, which has now sold 11.5 million hardware units in the U.S. alone.

To give that figure some context, the 3DS had sold 34.98 million units worldwide by September 2013. More context: In the first 16 months of its life, the 3DS sold 5 million in the U.S. In the 17 months since then, it has sold 6.5 million.

The company noted that more than 16 million 3DS games were sold in 2013, across both retail and digital. That's a 45 percent increase over sales in 2012.

And Nintendo put this down to a multitude of highly-rated Nintendo 3DS games that released in 2013, including The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Fire Emblem Awakening.

Notably, Nintendo did not update sales of Wii U in the statement. It's also worth noting that the press release did not specifically mention holiday season sales.


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Comments


Paul Speed
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Strange how well something sells when it's at an appropriate price point. ;)

Merc Hoffner
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The old rule is that it's better to start too high and then discount, than to start too low and work your way up. Having said that, it works out for drug dealers.

Paul Speed
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Well, I'm still waiting to see if the Wii-U hits a sane price point. I think it was about a year too late or $100 too high.

Theresa Catalano
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I'm pretty sure they're already losing money on every Wii-U sold, so I'm not quite clear on why it's not a sane price point. I'm sure they'd lower it if they could. Those table controllers are expensive to make!

Phil Maxey
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Why not just go ahead and turn the 3DS into a phone.

Paul Speed
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My guess would be that it poisons a large part their target demographic. For example, my son would not have a 3ds right now if it were also a phone because he's too young for a cell phone.

E Zachary Knight
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Because the size and design of the system would not make for a comfortable phone? Because Nintendo is not in the phone business? Because as Paul said, it would push it out of certain key demographics?

Eric Looc
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Not to mention the battery life would be even worse lol don't get me wrong, I love my 3DS, but I only play it at home because of how bad the battery life is.

Joseph Anthony B. A. Tanimowo-Reyes
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To be honest... I don't WANT my 3DS to be a phone. That sounds like a monumentally terrible idea.

Josh Charles
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What does Nintendo gain by doing that and what do they lose? I'm with Joseph - I definitely don't want my 3DS to be a phone. It works exceptionally well for what it was intended do.

Merc Hoffner
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You're almost asking Nintendo (with 5000 employees) to out-Apple and out-Google Apple and Google. Because that's what it would take to make a coherent platform. It's beyond their scope and incompatible with their business and they know it. And neither Google nor Apple actually make much money from their marketplaces. That's not the point for them.

I'd love for my next phone to be a Nintendo if they somehow simultaneously solved all the problems and challenges with gaming on phones: Platform standards, yearly upgrades, network deals, the controls and interface, local multilayer, physical game distribution, bulk, battery life, and cross demographic appeal.

Unfortunately that's all extremely unlikely. But I also think Nintendo's usually in a better place to upend the table than almost anyone. Even Apple can't seem to do it any more.

Harry Fields
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Does the table need upended any more? At what point do devices become "good enough"? Wall phones reached a certain point where they were just so". Sure, telcos and Phone manufacturers could've spent money creating the infrastructure to support Super HD wall phones that were 48 KHz sampling rate instead of 8 KHz. But the 8Khz was just fine for the intended purpose of the wall phone. At what point to Smart phones reach that point? Computers? Game systems? Somewhere, what *we*, as a civilization do with our collective inventions becomes more important than reinventing to the point of making the wheel worse than it was. Everything in tech has been so fast... almost too fast in changing. My personal opinion is that we can afford to focus a bit more on the figurative art of it all and a little less on the science, so to speak. Let's throw more science on the problems affecting most of the world. Once a technology is no longer a moving target, it then becomes cheap and available to all who would want it. I'd rather make games targeting todays platforms that are available to almost everyone on the planet, than make games that are only accessible to the 5% wealthy enough to afford the latest iteration of something that's capable of pushing 10 times the geometry and the like. In our industry, it's all about fun... It doesn't have to be all progress, all the time. Anyway, let me return the soapbox. My back-pain medicines they gave me at the doc the other day are whewww...

Theresa Catalano
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As of now, the 3DS is much more successful than any of the current next gen systems. Which makes sense, because it has the best library of games at the moment, with the Wii-U coming in second. I'm glad it's doing so well and keeping Nintendo afloat; it's a fantastic system.

Harry Fields
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Price is an important factor in that. What I like is that it is inferior tech compared to Vita, yet is blowing Vita out of the water in sales. See my post above about advancing tech for the sake of "progress". I like to see more accessible fun sell over specs.

Joe Zachery
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Not really price it's the content it's the games! The 2DS was released for the sole purpose to target people who wanted a cheaper gaming device. During the holidays you could find the 2DS at some stores for 99 dollars. Yet the over 3DS numbers this holiday season were not record breaking. When you compare to the DS generation the best selling console of all time. What you mention about Advancing tech for the sake of progress. Is what Nintendo has been doing with their handhelds since the Gameboy. With every other rival handheld being more power, but never able to topple the giant. Part of that is the type and style of games Nintendo provided compared to the others. Part of the 3DS problems is it's the closer a Nintendo handheld has ever been to making Home Console Nintendo games. Part of the problem with the PSP, and the Vita. Which has a affect on the price on the price of the games, and power needed to play them. If Nintendo would have made a slightly upgraded DS or a 2DS at the very beginning. I believe the numbers would be even better.

Glenn Sturgeon
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Heres to hoping for a new version of the gameboy player to come to wiiU.
That would inspire me to want a wiiU.
Theres plenty of DS & 3DS games i'd buy if it happened.

Bob Charone
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So all Nintendo sold fewer consoles and handhelds combined in a year than Nokia sold Lumias in in a single quarter of 2013


Nintendo stop being stubborn already and put yourself up for sale...

Bob Charone
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"I feel like that the person making that type of comment doesn't know anything about any kind of business (let alone, about the videogame business)."

Haha! That is how I feel when people say thing like this about Nokia, Nintendo, Blackberry, Silicon Graphics, ATI...

"~~~~ still got ways to go, but even through the toughest trials and tribulations, it is still standing, so the company is doing something right for it to still be around."


I think Microsoft/Sony/Disney would be good custodian of a beloved software maker like Nintendo cause if you discount the gimmicky Wii, (didn't even sell much more than rivals) Nintendo has not made a top hardware since DS 10 years ago when Nokia was the biggest phone maker!

Merc Hoffner
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To paraphrase, if you ignore the 3DS, and the Wii, and the progressive building of success over 7 years of the DS, Nintendo hasn't led the market in 10 years (actually 9) and if they aren't leading then they should kill themselves.

Microsoft would be a great curator - just look at Rareware. Disney isn't doing too well - I think they should sell up to Fox News - they know how to manage networks.

A single year of loss followed by profits in 30 years of public trading and 128 years of operations, is dying, pitiful, shameful performance afterall - you shouldn't be sentimental about these things. Toilet paper didn't sell as well as oil this year - stubborn toilet paper manufacturers should give up the ghost already. It's just good business.

Bob Charone
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"To paraphrase, if you ignore the 3DS"

Haha! Absolutely not ignore because 3ds is doing about the same sales this point in its lifetime compared to DS despite FAR more gamers today. Having the official Pokemon app on my iPhone is nice, but I admit I wish they would bring the games too... Nintendo would make good transition to software only like Sega!


"A single year of loss followed by profits in 30 years of public trading and 128 years of operations"

That remind me of what Nokia boosters said here in Europe 5 years ago, 10 years ago... Never said Nintendo is in awful shape right now, I don't personally see a good long term future for them and they should sell before they become "bargin bin" price like Nokia or Zynga don't you thing?

Roberto Dillon
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Right price point + backward compatibility with the DS = Upgrade to new system!


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