3DS sales steady but slow, new handheld hits 1 million unit milestone in Japan

Unit sales for the Nintendo 3DS have reached the one million mark in Japan. That’s usually good news, but while the milestone is a badge of success for any machine, it comes 13 weeks after launch, revealing that the 3DS system is moving at a snail’s pace when compared to Nintendo’s more recent handheld consoles. The original DS, for example, reached the same mark after only four weeks on the market.

Japanese sales scorekeeper Enterbrain reported the 3DS' achievement this week, having earlier notched up the one million milestone for the DS Lite and DSi after eight weeks. The ham-handed DSi XL (sold as the DSi LL in Japan) took 25 weeks to sell a million units in Japan – not surprising, as even chunky-pawed Americans were largely blasé about the device. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has suggested that poor public education on Nintendo's part is to blame for a widespread lack of awareness regarding the 3DS' value, even among users themselves.

Notably, Iwata voiced similar post-mortem regrets concerning last week's Wii U unveil, suggesting some communications problems between the company's Thinking of Things Division and its Department of Making Sure People Know What Those Things Are may exist.

Jun 13, 2011


  • codystovall - June 14, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    but bigkingbud they arent really doing anything different. They make you think that so youll buy theyre new system.
  • ollyn - June 14, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    @DirkSteel1 I think it's more likely we are seeing the end of dedicated mobile platforms at least in high DS level numbers. I have huge reservations about the WiiU as well but i reckon Nintendo have enough about them to ride it out even if it's not a success.
  • Andyjoe - June 14, 2011 6:33 p.m.

    Well, it was launched right before the biggest natural disaster the country had experienced in years. Had it not been for the earthquake aqnd tsunami it would have reached this point a lot sooner.
  • jasoncarter - June 14, 2011 6:32 p.m.

    I just bought a 3ds, and honestly, I love the bloody thing. I still don't care that much for the 3d, but the games that are coming soon, matter to me at least.
  • DirkSteele1 - June 14, 2011 5:42 p.m.

    I really do think we may be witnessing the beginning of Nintendo's demise as a platform manufacturer. 3DS struggling and I am very unconvinced by the gimmicky WiiU.

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