updated 08:50 pm EST, Fri November 11, 2011
NPD says 3DS at 1.65m sold, Xbox 360 at 393K
New NPD data for October on Friday showed Nintendo recovering some of its pace in mobile but still in a struggle with Apple and Microsoft. The 3DS had reached 1.65 million systems shipped to the US since it reached the country in March and was on track to break the original DS' first-year sales record. With 720,000 units left to go by March 2012, the company expected a rush of holiday sales and the winter to tip the balance.
While 3DS sales by themselves weren't broken out individually, Nintendo noted that the 3DS was overall adding to its bottom line, having increased the handheld systems' sales 25 percent versus a year ago.
The 3DS wasn't the top-selling system. Microsoft revealed that it had moved 393,000 Xbox 360 systems, up 21 percent from a year ago and enough to keep it in front for its ninth consecutive month. The game maker attributed it to a string of major games that had either launched in October or recently, starting with September's Gears of War 3 and moving on to games like Battlefield 3, Forza Motorsport 4, and Rage.
The Wii continued its drop in spite of price slashes, moving 250,000 systems in the month.
The Nintendo results are the ongoing result of an urgent price cut from the summer to $169. While significant in beating out the records of in-between handheld launches like the DS Lite and DSi, the increase is relatively mild given that Nintendo is comparing a 2011 system to a 2004 counterpart.
Such sales also are unlikely to change Nintendo's share of mobile gaming. The console pioneer has dropped to represent a minority of mobile game revenue where iOS and Android now make up the lion's share. Apple at 6.62 million iPods shipped this quarter will also have also outsold Nintendo on a sheer hardware basis, since more than half of that number were the iPod touch, and many are used for at least some of the gaming that would have needed a DS or 3DS in the past.