3DS on track to better DS sales

Nintendo has released NPD sales numbers for the 3DS which suggest it could exceed the year one unit sales numbers of the 3DS.

3DS has sold 1.65m units in the US in the eight months since its March launch. In its first 12 months, the DS shifted 2.37m machines, with half of those sales occurring in Q4.

With big-hitting software releases Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 upon us, it’s a safe bet to assume 3DS will enjoy a decent Christmas.

Money doesn’t lie and Nintendo’s recent disastrous financials are in large due to the lower-than-expected sales performance of the 3DS. But perhaps the industry needs to bite its tongue before writing off the system’s chances of success entirely.

Of course, how success is determined is a sliding scale.

Should the 3DS beat the DS numbers then yes, that’s certainly good. The DS was a sales smash – to beat it would be a great achievement.

On the other hand, the 3DS is entering a handheld market that has been defined and expanded by its predecessor. Is it not reasonable to expect it to smash DS out of the park?

The true test of the portable console market will come when Vita launches next month in Japan and in early 2012 in the West. If, as many suspect, it fails to match the strong launch numbers shifted by PSP then how long until all platform holders fall in line with the smartphone model?

Indeed, just last week at LGC Gamesbrief analyst Nicholas Lovell said the handheld console sector was doomed”.

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