What was once labelled a failure can now be labelled a success: Nintendo has announced that the 3DS has hit 5 million sales in the United States, crossing yet another sales milestone after a stellar 2011 holiday season. After a botched launch and a painfully slow uptake that lasted the first six months of the handheld's life, Nintendo slashed the price of the 3DS, causing sales to skyrocket. That momentum has more or less continued since then, with 3DS sales remaining steady throughout Japan, Europe, and the United States.
Nintendo hopes to keep the successes rolling with the introduction of the 3DS XL (which launches on August 19), a new version of the handheld with larger screens and a longer battery life. The company is also hoping that upcoming first party titles like New Super Mario Bros. 2, Paper Mario, and Luigi's Mansion will help make 2012 a bit more successful than 2011 was.
"The game lineup for Nintendo 3DS last holiday season was one of the strongest in our history," says Scott Moffitt, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Nintendo of America. "We’re poised to top it this year. Every week, gamers will have the best franchises in the world in a glasses-free 3D experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Add Wii U into the mix and it’s a great time to be a Nintendo fan."
Nintendo also announced that sales of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D rose past 1 million in June, making it the third 3DS title to sell one million copies.
The big N has a huge holiday season coming up, with the planned launch of the Wii U happening at some point closer to the end of the year. The Wii U has been making Nintendo's investors a little bit nervous, and the company knows that it can't afford another stale launch like the one it experienced with the 3DS. Couple that with the launch of the 3DS XL next month, and Nintendo's plate is pretty full heading into the holiday season. Can the company pull it off? Only time will tell, but as long as Mario is on the scene, then things can't turn out too bad.