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Nintendo’s announcement of the Nintendo 3DS XL is exciting news for the company, if sales of its DSi XL are any indication. Made specifically for older players who are more interested in a bigger screen than they are in a console that fits in their pocket, the DSi XL sold over 12 million systems since it launched on November 21, 2009, in Japan, roughly 8 percent of all Nintendo DS sales. And if DSi XL trends hold true, this success will continue for the 3DS XL.

The Nintendo DS debuted in November 2004 and has had three major iterations since its launch: the DS Lite, the DSi, and the DSi XL. Of the over 150 million systems sold since 2004, 93.8 million were the DS Lite, 26.8 million units were the DSi, and the remaining 18.8M million were the original DS. More important, the DSi XL outsold the DSi by 1.3 million consoles in 2011 fiscal year. Both the DSi and DSi XL have maintained strong sales even after Nintendo released its 3DS, while other DS models have seen sharp declines.

What could this mean for the 3DS XL? With 8 percent of all DS sales made in just three fiscal years, the DSi XL accounted for 19.4 percent of all DS models sold in the three years of its production. With only one current 3DS model and a worldwide market for larger portable, past sales indicate that the 3DS XL can provide for 20-30 percent of all 3DS sales worldwide, and sell millions of units.

The Nintendo 3DS XL goes on sale in Japan on July 28 and in the U.S. on August 19. It costs $199 and features a 4.88-inch top display and 4.18-inch bottom display, which are 90 percent larger than the 3DS. The 3DS originally sold for $250, and the price quickly dropped to the current retail value of $169.


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