The market for dedicated handhelds, thanks to the proliferation of gaming capable smartphones and tablets, has shrunk to nothing. Nintendo, likewise, is doomed; their new 3DS has stalled at retail, proving itself to be a worthlessly unnecessary bit of tech. Only neither of those statements is true.
We’ve reported before that the 3DS wasn’t the picture of doom and gloom the media (us included!) painted it to be. In fact, it’s gone on to become Japan’s best selling console hardware for a single month, ever.
According to Japan’s Enterbrain, the chart tracking service akin to North America’s NPD and Europe’s GfK Charttrack, Nintendo’s handheld sold a staggering 1,492,931 units over a single month, from November 28 through December 25, giving it the highest single month sales total since Enterbrain started tracking consoles hardware sales way back in 1997. It’s the seventh month in a row that the lenticularly mesmerising console has come out tops on the hardware charts.
One of the primary reasons for this reversal of fortune? Other than the price cut, it would have to be the appearance of Nintendo’s age-old mascot, the moustachioed plumber Mario in not one, but two games; Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7.
For reference, Sony’s new handheld the PlayStation Vita hasn’t quite yet proven itself to be a hit with Japanese gamers. In the same period, just 402,794 vita’s left store shelves. Granted, the Vita was only released on December 17 – so I think we’ll afford it a little time before calling it a write-off. Still…nearly two million dedicated handheld consoles sold in a single month on a tiny island?
I think it’s safe to say there’s still a big demand for real mobile games.
Last Updated: January 9, 2012