Nintendo 3DS passes 4m US sales milestone

Nintendo has sold four million 3DS consoles in the US, the company has announced, as well as hitting new sales records on three titles, Mario and Zelda, Super Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart 7. The milestone – which actually means the 3DS sold faster than the Wii did in its first nine months of launch, despite the glasses-free 3D handheld's pre-price-cut lull – put the 3DS in second place to the Wii in the US last year, with 4.5m of the motion-controlled consoles being sold.

Meanwhile Nintendo's DS continues to sell, with more than 3.4m units being bought in the US in 2011. The total install-base for the Wii is now up to 39m, while more than 51m Nintendo DS handhelds are out in the wild.

The Nintendo 3DS' path has not been a smooth one. The company reported dreary sales after a promising beginning, and was forced to dramatically slash the price of the 3DS to stimulate demand. That – along with an apologetic open letter from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata – did the trick, however, with sales leaping 260-percent in the US post-cut.

Subsequent updates added Hulu Plus streaming along with 3D video recording support, and most recently Nintendo is rumored to be preparing an ebook store that the 3DS and the upcoming Wii U will both be able to take advantage of.

Nintendo is now promising "a massive first- and third party lineup in the first part of [2012]" to follow Mario and ZeldaSuper Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart 7 each passing 1m US sales and breaking individual franchise records. More on the 3DS in the full SlashGear review.