In a short message issued to members of the press this morning, Japanese gaming icon Nintendo claims that sales of games for its Nintendo 3DS handheld system have massively increased over the past year. According to Nintendo, software sales have shot up by 89 percent since last October.
The company cites a number of major releases for the system as the impetus for this windfall. Specifically, it points out that the relatively recent New Super Mario Bros. 2 is still going strong at retail, having sold over 295,000 units in its second month of availability. Nintendo also spotlights a number of other first-party games for the system as contributing to this sales feat, and mentions Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus: Uprising, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D by name.
Unsurprisingly, Nintendo executives are feeling pretty good about this news. “Hardware sales are up, software sales are increasing exponentially and the attach rate is growing stronger every month,” said Nintendo Of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing Scott Moffitt. “With a great slate of upcoming games, including Paper Mario: Sticker Star, which arrives exactly one month from today, we like our position heading into the crucial holiday selling season.”
Finally, as if to roll out every possible highlight of how well Nintendo’s handheld division is doing, the company points out that the Nintendo DS’ Super Mario 64 DS has finally topped five million total units sold. Given that the game was initially released in 2004 and that all Nintendo-developed games sell well, this news isn’t exactly amazing, but this does mean that Super Mario 64 DS now joins Mario Kart DS and the original New Super Mario Bros. on the short list of Nintendo DS titles that have surpassed the five million copies sold mark.
Though it’s likely little surprise to those familiar with Nintendo’s history, it seems important to point out that none of the games mentioned above were developed by third-party companies. Each and every one of them is a Nintendo game set within a famous Nintendo franchise. As we said, this isn’t all that surprising as Nintendo’s own games have always been the main selling point for the company’s gaming systems, but it does highlight how heavily Nintendo relies on its own decades-old series to bolster consumer support for each of its new hardware ventures.