Nintendo sold 4 million 3DS systems in 2011, or 12 million dimensions

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Nintendo 3DSThat's a lot of glasses-free, stereoscopic dimensions of gaming entertainment. Nintendo announced today that it had sold over 4 million units of its 3DS handheld gaming console last year, VentureBeat reports. Despite a terribly rocky start, the system sold more units in its first nine months than the ubiquitous Wii in its first nine months on the market, according to Nintendo.

The impressive sales are largely thanks to its $80 price cut last summer and system-selling games like Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 hitting in the winter. In fact, both Mario games have sold 1 million copies apiece since their late 2011 releases. (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword also sold a million discs since its November release.) So much for suspicions of the handheld being dead in the water, huh?

While the 3DS has clearly proven that it can hang in the world of iPhones and Android tablets offering sometimes fully-featured games for a buck or less, the handheld needs to repeat these successes in order to maintain. This is especially so considering Sony is gearing up to release its PS Vita in Western world this February. However, Japanese sales of the $250 competitor haven't exactly been mind-blowing.

According to VentureBeat, Nintendo of America executive VP of sales and marketing Scott Moffitt said that the company has a plenty of first and third-party games coming in early 2012, including Mario Party and Pokemon games. (Ed Note: Nintendo has clarified for us that these franchises will hit the Wii in the first quarter 2012 with new games: PokePark 2 and Mario Party 9. Neither franchise will receive a 3DS game in that time frame.) And since the company firmly refuses to create games for smartphones or tablets, it's definitely going to need that type of momentum.

Do you own or do your kids own a 3DS? Do you see the handheld system doing well into 2012 as the new crop of Apple and Android devices are released? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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