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Nintendo 3DS in top sales spot for May 2013, ending Xbox 360’s 28-month reign

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Nintendo’s 3DS handheld took the top sales spot for gaming hardware in May 2013, according to NPD’s latest monthly data. It’s a big victory that becomes even more impressive when you consider that the first place position was wrested away from Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console after a 28-month streak. Publishers may be shying away from bringing content to the slow-to-sell Wii U, but the 3DS continues to flourish.

Three of May’s 10 best-selling games were 3DS titles, including Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moonand Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. Software sales on the handheld system saw 60 percent growth over May 2012, while hardware sales remained steady. Other games in the top ten include Injustice: Gods Among Us at number one and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 in second, plus Dead Island: Riptide, Metro: Last Light, NBA 2K13, BioShock Infinite, and Battlefield 3.

It may be a sign of the coming generation shift, with the 3DS slowly building a library of must-have games while enthusiasm for the Xbox 360 dwindles as its successor, the Xbox One, approaches. Whatever the cause is for the sales boost, Nintendo appears to have successfully reversed the 3DS’s fortunes after a launch that left players starved for quality games.