Nintendo 3DS - Wide

The 3DS, Nintendo’s current-gen handheld, has sold more than 4.5 million units in the US within its first year, the company announced today.

The system launched March 27th of last year, and has managed to quickly outpace Nintendo’s original DS handheld—which sold 2.3 million its first year—by a longshot. In fact, it outsold the DS in just eight months, something Nintendo boasts makes it the “best-selling video game system in history.”

On the software side the 3DS has nearly twice as many software titles available as the DS did a year in with over nine million sold compared to the older handheld’s five million. Of course one can argue that the original DS took a while to get off that ground, and that Nintendo’s line of dual-screen handhelds has already established a name for itself.

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, confident as ever, did offer his statement via press release, saying “Nintendo 3DS closes its first year with a lengthy list of accomplishments but we’re still just scratching the surface … With a massive lineup of first- and third-party games and more on the way, a budding library of entertainment options and an engaged and growing installed base, Nintendo 3DS has an incredibly bright future. We’re just getting started but this platform is built for the long haul.”

Built for the long haul, indeed. We hope. Traditional handheld gaming is facing increased pressure from mobile platforms like iOS, and console makers like Nintendo and Sony have had to rethink aspects of how they market their systems. In fact, Nintendo had to drop the price of the handheld to $169.99 just months after release when they realized that the $250 system was not selling as well as they had anticipated.

3DS Sales compare chart