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Nintendo said today that its 3DS handheld game system has sold more than 1.65 million units in the U.S., according to sales tracked by market researcher NPD.

The number puts the 3DS on track to surpass the first-year total of the Nintendo DS, which was previously the fastest-selling game platform. Of course, this is what you would expect. After all, in 2011, the video game market is much bigger than it was in 2004.

The Nintendo DS sold 2.37 million units in the U.S. in its first 12 months in the U.S., with about 50 percent of those sales happening during the holidays. Nintendo hopes that big games such as Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 will enable the 3DS to keep growing.

Overall, however, the 3DS has been a disappointing launch for Nintendo. The system debuted in March, but some people complained about the quality of the glasses-free stereoscopic 3D. In August, Nintendo had to slash the price of the 3DS from $249.99 to $169.99. That helped triple sales, but it means that the system isn’t as attractive as the old DS was, given the new environment of other portable devices such as iPhones and iPads.


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Nintendo said it sold more than 675,000 hardware units in October, including 250,000 3DS units, 250,000 Wii units, and 180,000 older DS units.

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