updated 11:05 pm EST, Mon November 28, 2011
Nintendo 3DS sales jump 325pc based on Mario
The launch of key Mario and Zelda games helped catapult Nintendo 3DS sales, the company's US President Reggie Fils-Aime declared Monday to USA Today. The week of November 6, just before Super Mario 3DS Land arrived, the handheld saw its sales jump 325 percent. The launch of the game itself saw sales jump 49 percent again over those already boosted figures.
Fils-Aime didn't provide exact numbers, but he confirmed that Nintendo had broken its first-year handheld record of 2.37 million systems in just eight months, with several weeks of the holidays and three months of 2012 still to go. Mario Kart 7's launch next week was also likely to give the platform a help.
The Wii also fared well. On Black Friday last week, the usual peak of holiday shopping, Nintendo's TV console sold over 500,000 units in one day, including a handful of openings just shortly before the day in question.
Boosted sales will help Nintendo as a whole, but most of all for handhelds. The company posted a $932 million loss for the first half of its fiscal year, its first half-year loss in 30 years, owed in part to a botched 3DS launch where a high $250 price and a lack of games led many to pass until an unprecedented quick price cut to $170.
Once near undisputed in mobile gaming, Nintendo has lost its lead to Apple and, to a lesser extent, Android builders. Much quicker hardware update cycles, cheaper games, and convergence for iOS and Android have cost the DS and 3DS their position. A surge in 3DS sales shows that Nintendo still has an audience, at least in its core bases of children and teens.