Even with Nintendo Switch mania in full swing, 3DS sales remain strong

nintendo 3ds strong sales in december 2017 new 2ds xl 13716
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Nintendo had an incredibly strong holiday season, with the Switch selling like hotcakes alongside exclusives games like Super Mario Odyssey. But the company’s aging 3DS handheld hasn’t been forgotten. In fact, the system had its best month in three years.

Nintendo revealed that in December, the various models of 3DS managed to sell more than 750,000 in the United States, alone, which is the highest total the system has had since December 2014. It’s also 27 percent more than what we saw from the 3DS a year ago, and that was following the worldwide phenomenon that was Pokémon Go. To date, the 3DS family has sold more than 21 million units in the United States. It’s a far cry from the nearly 60 million DS units sold in the United States, but the 3DS continues to prove that dedicated handheld gaming systems can still thrive alongside iOS and Android phones.

Aside from Nintendo being on everyone’s minds because of both the Switch and the SNES Classic, the launch of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon appears to have also had an impact. According to the NPD Group, the games were the 13th- and 14th-best-selling titles of December, even though they released during a remarkably crowded holiday season. Switch games on the list include Super Mario Odyssey in the third slot, as well as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at No. 4. July’s Splatoon 2 even managed to come in at 16th, likely as a purchase for those who just received their Switch system. According to Nintendo, the Switch is the fastest-selling home console in U.S. history at this point, with nearly 5 million units sold since it launched last March.

The launch of the Switch hasn’t slowed down the software support for the 3DS in the slightest. Aside from the aforementioned Pokémon games, 2017 saw the release of the excellent Metroid: Samus Returns as well as Fire Emblem Echoes — Shadows of Valentia. Upcoming 3DS games in 2018 include Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, and Detective Pikachu. Sadly, that game will not feature the voice talent of Danny DeVito, though a film adaptation will star Deadpool‘s Ryan Reynolds.


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