Nintendo 3DS lifetime sales hit 11.5 million worldwide

Meanwhile, Nintendo says it sold more than 16 million 3DS games in 2013 alone. 

Nintendo
The Nintendo 3DS family, which includes the budget-priced 2DS (pictured here), has sold 11.5 million units in its lifetime, Nintendo said this week.

It's been a gloomy few months for Nintendo, which struggled to draw attention to its Wii U console. 

But today, the Japanese tech giant announced a rare spot of bright news: Lifetime sales of the 3DS handheld line – here defined as not only the flagship 3DS, but also the 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS devices – have reached 11.5 million worldwide. Meanwhile, in 2013 alone, Nintendo sold more than 16 million packaged or downloadable games, the company said today in a press release. 

"We're not slowing down in 2014," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing. "With more games featuring fan-favorite franchises on the way, the best days of Nintendo 3DS are still to come."

The 3DS, which uses stereoscopic effects to render games in 3-D without glasses, was released almost three years ago, in 2011. 

"Without its 3D display, the Nintendo 3DS is a top-notch upgrade to the original Nintendo DS," Will Greenwald of PCMag.com wrote in a review at the time. "With 3D, it's a compelling handheld gaming system with a surprisingly well-implemented and immersive hook built on top of a well-designed device with a massive, rock-solid gaming library." 

Initially, sales of the device were sluggish, a development that seemed to catch Nintendo off-guard. Later, the company dropped the price of the 3DS from $249.99 to $169.99. That price reduction, along with the arrival of the cheaper 2DS and blockbuster titles such as Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, seemed to have helped boost sales. 

The same can't be said for the Wii U, which is still struggling to keep pace with the recently-released PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. 

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