Overall, 2011 was a very good year for Nintendo as the Japanese-based company has recently confirmed that they sold over four million 3DS units in the United States alone. Considering all the issues the company had, launching the system and then a few days later cutting the price to make it more accessible to people (it went from $249,99 to $169,99,) sales seem to have been quite consistent. This massive price cut took place in August, 2011 and by the holiday season the portable was already selling 2.1 million units.
Additionally, early adopters of the handheld were given 20 free Nintendo classics, which included 10 NES Virtual Console titles and 10 GameBoy Advance ones. Although the latter won’t be sold to public, the NES games will eventually come out on the eShop and are already available in Japan.
Nintendo has also stated that both Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land have sold 1 million each. Although The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time 3D remake was the first game to surpass the million units, the aforementioned two games were the ones most people were waiting for. Furthermore, Nintendo keeps saying that the 3DS has sold more units in the first 9 months than the Wii did in the same time, but I don’t think this is a fair comparison as the 3DS has suffered a massive price cut, the Wii was quite hard to find for some time and multiple variables need to be taken into account.
It’s worth pointing out that very recently, Nintendo’s portable console has also surpassed the 4 million units sold in Japan and even though it was available a month earlier in that territory, sales have improved considerably since the Circle Pad Pro and Monster Hunter 3G were officially announced. It took much longer than expected, but the company finally sold 4 million units. They struggled for a while and some of the decisions Nintendo made regarding the 3DS are more than questionable, but I guess this indicates that there’s still room for dedicated handhelds. In a few weeks, Sony will have to prove the same thing when they release their upcoming portable, the PlayStation Vita.
Finally, the Nintendo Wii sold 4.5 million units in 2011, reaching 39 million units since the console came out in November 19, 2006 in North America. The Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword surpassed the million copies and Mario Kart Wii sold around 11 million. The DS on the other hand, sold 3.4 million units, reaching 51 million units since the handheld’s release and New Super Mario Bros reached 10 million copies sold.