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3DS

3DS Sales Gain Strength in First Year

by Pedro Hernandez - November 11, 2011, 11:07 pm EST
Total comments: 27

The 3D system may surpass the first-year sales of the Nintendo DS.

First-year sales of the 3DS may surpass the first-year sales of the original DS console, according to sales data by the NPD Group.

The 3DS sold 1.65 million units since its launch early in the year and is fast approaching its first holiday season, which will include the releases of Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. Nintendo expects the system to have surpassed sales of the DS once the holiday season is over.

The original DS sold 2.37 million units starting in November of 2004 and ending on October of 2005.

In October, the 3DS sold 250,000 units. In other Nintendo news, the Wii nearly sold 250,000 units, while the DS sold 180,000 units, despite the presence of the 3DS in the market. Combined, Nintendo moved 675,000 pieces of hardware in October.

The 3DS has seen great growth ever since the price drop happened earlier in the year. Recently in Japan the release of Super Mario 3D Land helped boost sales of the system.

Nintendo 3DS Poised to Surpass First-Year Sales of Nintendo DS

Nintendo 3DS Poised to Surpass First-Year Sales of Nintendo DS

In its eighth month on the market, the Nintendo 3DS™ system crossed 1.65 million units sold in the U.S., according to the NPD Group, which tracks video game sales in the United States. This milestone puts the platform on track to surpass the first-year total of Nintendo DS™, the best-selling game platform in U.S. history.

The Nintendo DS system sold 2.37 million units in its first 12 months (November 2004-October 2005), with approximately 50 percent of those sales occurring in the holiday time frame. With its first holiday season and the launches of the Super Mario 3D Land™ and Mario Kart™ 7 games on the horizon, Nintendo 3DS is poised to eclipse that number and establish a new benchmark for hand-held gaming launches in the United States.

“With a massive lineup of software on the way and the first-year sales record of Nintendo DS in its sights, Nintendo 3DS enters its first holiday season with a full head of steam,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing.

Other Nintendo news from the month includes:

Nintendo sold more than 675,000 combined hardware units in October. This includes more than 250,000 units of Nintendo 3DS, nearly 250,000 Wii™ systems and nearly 180,000 units of the Nintendo DS family of systems.

For the year, Nintendo has sold a combined 7 million hardware units and more than 55 million units of software have been sold for Nintendo platforms. Both of these numbers should increase with the Nov. 20 launch of The Legend of Zelda™: Skyward Sword for Wii.
Both Wii, up 8 percent year over year, and Nintendo DS, up 23 percent over the previous month, demonstrated strong momentum heading into their respective sixth and eighth holiday seasons. In total, the two platforms have sold more than 87 million combined hardware units and more than 540 million combined units of software in the United States.

Talkback

StrawHousePigNovember 12, 2011

Now, now. As gaming journalists / bloggers / nerds you're supposed to decry the 3DS and its pathetic, miserable sales and how Nintendo are failing left and right and that the gaming world would be so much better off were Nintendo to develop for cell phones rather than continue to expand it. Of course repeating this ad infinitum.



Or not. You could also be reasonable human beings I suppose.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 12, 2011

Didn't the original DS do pretty poorly in its first year though?

KDR_11kNovember 12, 2011

I'd be more positive about the 3DS if it didn't feel like a badly rushed machine that's not even remotely up to Nintendo's usual standards. The pathetic battery life and the lengthy load times even in the menu really don't draw a nice picture.

Quote from: UncleBob

Didn't the original DS do pretty poorly in its first year though?

It did indeed, largely because of a very poor software lineup up until the very end of that year. The original DS was in worse shape than the 3DS at this point in its life in terms of sales, software quality and public perception.

Chozo GhostNovember 12, 2011

So if the DS did poor in its first year then is the 3DS beating it in its first year really all that impressive? One could also point out how the 3DS has slaughtered the Virtual Boy, but is that really saying much?

I made that argument in the sales thread. It would be much bigger news, and really bad for Nintendo, if the 3DS were not to do better than the DS, given how poorly the latter did in its first year.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterNovember 12, 2011

Quote from: Chozo

So if the DS did poor in its first year then is the 3DS beating it in its first year really all that impressive? One could also point out how the 3DS has slaughtered the Virtual Boy, but is that really saying much?

It is when you realize that they are comparing the DS's first YEAR versus the 3DS's first six to seven MONTHS. The point of this is that the 3DS, with its seemingly endless bad press and disapproval of fans has done a better job than the DS in just a few short months, and without even any BIG titles on it until now.

Chozo GhostNovember 12, 2011

What I am more interested in is where the 3DS will be at in 5 or 6 years. Will it shatter the DS' LTD sales record? I think that would be a more impressive feat.

Given the current market, I think that would be damn near impossible. Between the rise of mobile phone gaming and the fact that there is a significant group of people who will be happy just with their original DS and never feel the need to upgrade, the potential customer pool just isn't big enough to do that again.

KDR_11kNovember 12, 2011

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

there is a significant group of people who will be happy just with their original DS and never feel the need to upgrade

Nintendo's job would be to make as many of them want the 3DS as possible by making the upgrade worth it to them. That mostly means killer apps. Any system launches with the majority of potential customers happy with their old system, it's up to the new one to prove itself.

motangNovember 12, 2011

Now that is good to hear, though the DS had a very slow start.

leahsdadNovember 12, 2011

Quote from: KDR_11k

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

there is a significant group of people who will be happy just with their original DS and never feel the need to upgrade

Nintendo's job would be to make as many of them want the 3DS as possible by making the upgrade worth it to them. That mostly means killer apps. Any system launches with the majority of potential customers happy with their old system, it's up to the new one to prove itself.

I agree, but I also think that critical mass might happen sooner than we think.  We've got 3D land and Mario Kart already, and I think those 2 might be enough to get younger, too young to be hardcore, gamers on board with the 3DS.  I've heard kids in my daughter's kindergarten class talking about how much they want a 3DS for Christmas.  Now, they're 5, and there's probably no way in hell their parents will buy them one, but I think this is one of the signs that awareness is starting to build. 

As a parent, I see other kids alot, and I mean ALOT.  I've seem to see mostly DSI's, sometimes DS Lites, and once in while a DsiXL.  But the game I always see these kids playing is New Super Mario, Mario Kart, or Pokemon.  Without exception. 

CericNovember 12, 2011

Quote from: leahsdad

Quote from: KDR_11k

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

there is a significant group of people who will be happy just with their original DS and never feel the need to upgrade

Nintendo's job would be to make as many of them want the 3DS as possible by making the upgrade worth it to them. That mostly means killer apps. Any system launches with the majority of potential customers happy with their old system, it's up to the new one to prove itself.

I agree, but I also think that critical mass might happen sooner than we think.  We've got 3D land and Mario Kart already, and I think those 2 might be enough to get younger, too young to be hardcore, gamers on board with the 3DS.  I've heard kids in my daughter's kindergarten class talking about how much they want a 3DS for Christmas.  Now, they're 5, and there's probably no way in hell their parents will buy them one, but I think this is one of the signs that awareness is starting to build. 

As a parent, I see other kids alot, and I mean ALOT.  I've seem to see mostly DSI's, sometimes DS Lites, and once in while a DsiXL.  But the game I always see these kids playing is New Super Mario, Mario Kart, or Pokemon.  Without exception. 

My son been taking mine because of Skylanders.  He likes putting hats on the characters and driving them around.  He's 3...

Lady MushroomNovember 12, 2011

I think 3DS's success depends a great deal in getting the very young demographic. This has always been a BIG part of Nintendo's handheld success - and it is an area where mobile devices aren't really much competition. Here in Mexico, most the kids have DSs, GBAs or even GBCs. 3DS penetration will probably lag by years as is usual here.


I believe 3DS will be hugely successful, though probably a bit less so than DS, which probably represented the peak of the dedicated handheld gaming device market. DSs strengths were in the child market, the pre-teen and early teen girls market, the casual adult market and the "serious gamer" market - especially the female sector of that. Most of my female friends have DSs. Most of them have played Dragon Quest IX. Very few of them own a console - even a Wii. Most of them I suspect will not (unlike me) be early adopters of 3DS. They will go on with DS for some time, but they will switch eventually.


Of these markets, I think Nintendo stands to lose quite a large portion of the casual adult market. This is where portable devices will hit hardest. The other markets, I think it will largely retain. The "serious gamer" market - mostly the male sector, faces competition from Sony as it always did. For the other sectors I mentioned, Nintendo is still the only game in town.

LJKKJLCM9November 12, 2011

There is a significant reason I do not worry about Smart phones and such in the portable game market.  Kids. Yes many adults and more teenagers now have cell phones.  But at the same time, walk into a daycare of school age kids during quiet time, 90% of them, boys and girls, are playing on their DS.  This market is going no where.  Any kid above the age of 5 is perfectly capable of playing on a portable system, some even younger.  Any kid under the age of 13, is not likely to have a cell phone.  This age range is HUGE for the likes of Mario, Mario Kart, and Pokemon.  I know of 5 parents where I work that are getting a 3DS for their kid where I work.  I don't worry about Nintendo at all because of this. 
Sony may have more trouble with it's Vita, because of the age bracket... but at the same time, the crowd they cater to is the hardcore player.  The player that will want a dedicated gaming platform.


I don't see mobile phone games killing portables because of these two markets.  Sure, a parent may let their kid play angry birds on their phone... but the kid won't have his own phone.  What will he play at a friends house? At school on breaks? During quiet time in daycare?  Nintendo is the answer most of the time.  What about the older demographic that definitely has phones/smart phones? Well, I've played many a game on my smart phone, and some are quite fun.  But nothing compares to the full experience of a game on the DS or PSP.  The quality of these titles makes them worth the price to someone like me, and many other gamers in existence.  Sure, I may not carry my DS with me at all times.  Sure, I may pull out my cell phone when I have 5-10 minutes or something.  But when I know I'm going to have a good chunk of time, 30 minutes or more, just sitting somewhere like a car ride, I'm bringing my DS/PSP.  Some games are even worth sinking into while at home, with a home console sitting there.  I may browse the internet on my phone at home, but I've never played a game on my phone while watching tv.  I have played my DS/PSP while watching TV.


THE JACKEL

Lady MushroomNovember 12, 2011

Just to clarify - the female friends I was talking about with DSs are American, not Mexican. I don't know any Mexican geeky girls!

Mop it upNovember 13, 2011

The DS had a Mario Kart game in its first year just like the 3DS does, but from what I can tell Mario Kart DS didn't really spike sales of the DS. It would seem that Mario Kart didn't become as huge as it is until more recently, so Mario Kart 7 may yet be a system seller better than Mario Kart DS when it launched. The first real spike in DS sales didn't come until New Super Mario Brothers released, and time will tell if Super Mario 3D Land can have that same effect.

ThePermNovember 13, 2011

and people come back to reality.

This is exactly what I said would happened when people started bitching it was doing terrible just 6 weeks after release. Pure Hyperbole.

Prediction: 2 years from now Nintendo has some press conference talking about how its doing the best of any of its systems. This time though I'll know better and wait till the Second Iteration. You know the one with the built in 2nd joystick they'll announce soon.

bookmarking this page, so I can bump the shit out of it 2 years from now when this happens.

rlse9November 13, 2011

I don't think the 3DS will be a complete failure or anything but handheld gaming has definitely peaked.  The casual market gets enough fun from their smartphones and tablets.  The market for younger children is definitely still there but I think the iPod Touch is eating into that market some and the growth of the tablet market may as well, especially with tablets like the Amazon Fire hitting low price points without being horribly underpowered.  As much as I loved my DS I feel no need to upgrade anytime soon.  I hope it does well so there's a great library should I get one eventually but I can't see it reaching DS levels of success.

ejamerNovember 14, 2011

Increased sales aren't a big surprise. At launch, the 3DS was very expensive and offered very limited software support. The price has dropped significantly and good games are being released... so the perceived value of a 3DS console is improving quickly. By the middle of next year it will be interesting to see if the "gloom and doom" prognosis and comparisons to Virtual Boy are still bring thrown around.

YmeegodNovember 14, 2011

"Any kid above the age of 5 is perfectly capable of playing on a portable system, some even younger."

But that's the rub though, kids under 7 shouldn't use an 3DS because 3D can cause problems with their eyes.  Sure you can turn it off but how many kids would just flicker it back to 3D anyhow.  My nephew, for example, wants one but I'm 99% sure he's going flip the toggle to 3D as soon as I turn my back.  Nintendo should've enabled the software to turn it on or off that way you can enable parental controls on it. 
 

CericNovember 14, 2011

Quote from: Ymeegod

"Any kid above the age of 5 is perfectly capable of playing on a portable system, some even younger."

But that's the rub though, kids under 7 shouldn't use an 3DS because 3D can cause problems with their eyes.  Sure you can turn it off but how many kids would just flicker it back to 3D anyhow.  My nephew, for example, wants one but I'm 99% sure he's going flip the toggle to 3D as soon as I turn my back.  Nintendo should've enabled the software to turn it on or off that way you can enable parental controls on it. 
 

I'm not in a place to check but, I think you can turn off the 3D in the Parental controls.

ejamerNovember 14, 2011

There is an option to lock down 3D display in the Parental Controls. It's easy to do, and only takes a minute. When an adult wants to play, he can type in a code to temporarily enable 3D for that session.


3D is a major selling point for the system, and a neat feature... but it's really not the best part of 3DS. Better graphics, more power, analog controls, and much improved firmware are all more convincing reasons to buy one - especially as more good 3DS-exclusive games arrive in the coming months.

StogiNovember 14, 2011

Quote from: Ymeegod

"Any kid above the age of 5 is perfectly capable of playing on a portable system, some even younger."

But that's the rub though, kids under 7 shouldn't use an 3DS because 3D can cause problems with their eyes.  Sure you can turn it off but how many kids would just flicker it back to 3D anyhow.  My nephew, for example, wants one but I'm 99% sure he's going flip the toggle to 3D as soon as I turn my back.  Nintendo should've enabled the software to turn it on or off that way you can enable parental controls on it. 
 

That story was debunked almost immediately. In fact, 3D can help detect underlying vision problems which is the cause for most children's discomfort when viewing 3D content.

I showed the 3DS to my 5-year-old niece and I asked her what she thought. She said, and I very nearly quote, "It's like the screen was coming out at me!"

CericNovember 14, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Neal

I showed the 3DS to my 5-year-old niece and I asked her what she thought. She said, and I very nearly quote, "It's like the screen was coming out at me!"

And you Replied: "Its Coming to EAT YOU!"

Chozo GhostNovember 14, 2011

There's nothing wrong with the 3D effect in children. Some eye doctors have even come forward as saying there is nothing to worry about. We all live in a 3D world, so how could 3D be harmful?

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