Nintendo 3DS sells 4.5 million units in its first year in the U.S.

Nintendo today has revealed that the Nintendo 3DS, in its first year, has just about doubled what the Nintendo DS has accomplished in its first year in the United States. Definitely an impressive milestone, and we’re sure that the dramatic price cut didn’t hurt either.

Read on for the press release and for more stats.

The era of glasses-free 3D gaming is turning one this month as Nintendo 3DS prepares to celebrate its first birthday. On March 27, 2011, video games and portable entertainment jumped into a new dimension in the U.S. and that story got richer throughout the year with record-breaking software titles such as Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 and entertainment options such as Netflix, Nintendo Video and the ability to record 3D movies. The platform enters its second year with a massive lineup of games, including the recently launched Resident Evil Revelations from CAPCOM, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games published by SEGA, TEKKEN 3D Prime Edition from NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc., METAL GEAR SOLID Snake Eater 3D from Konami Digital Entertainment and the upcomingKid Icarus: Uprising and Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir from Nintendo.

?Nintendo 3DS closes its first year with a lengthy list of accomplishments but we?re still just scratching the surface?

?Nintendo 3DS closes its first year with a lengthy list of accomplishments but we?re still just scratching the surface,? said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. ?With a massive lineup of first- and third-party games and more on the way, a budding library of entertainment options and an engaged and growing installed base, Nintendo 3DS has an incredibly bright future. We?re just getting started but this platform is built for the long haul.?

Some of the milestones achieved by Nintendo 3DS in its first year include:

  • March 27, 2011: Nintendo 3DS ushers in a new era of gaming with glasses-free 3D. Launch-day sales are the strongest in Nintendo?s history.
  • June 2011: The Nintendo eShop launches, letting users preview, try and buy new and classic games, download applications and watch 3D movie trailers.
  • June 2011: Link makes his first appearance in 3D with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, which is still the best-reviewed game for Nintendo 3DS.
  • Summer 2011: Nintendo 3DS adds two video services:
    • Netflix unlimited streaming members can instantly watch thousands of TV episodes and movies.
    • Nintendo Video automatically delivers hand-picked 3D content from leading sites and artists.
  • October 2011: After only eight months, Nintendo 3DS surpasses first-year sales of Nintendo DS, the best-selling video game system in history.
  • Fall 2011: Mario jumps into 3D with two new games, each becoming the fastest-selling titles in their franchises? history:
    • Nov. 13, 2011: Super Mario 3D Land ? 1.75 million copies sold to date
    • Dec. 4, 2011: Mario Kart 7 ? 1.45 million copies sold to date
  • December 2011: Users can now record up to 10 minutes of 3D video and stop-motion animation.
  • December 2011: Nintendo 3DS crosses 4 million units sold, passing the record pace set by the Wii.
  • Feb. 22, 2012: Dillon?s Rolling Western launches for the Nintendo eShop, joining hot titles Pushmo and Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive!
  • March 23, 2012: Nintendo 3DS closes its first year with the launch of Kid Icarus: Uprising, the first original entrant in the series in more than 20 years.

Nintendo 3DS is inexorably linked with its predecessor the Nintendo DS, the best-selling gaming system in U.S. history with more than 51 million units sold. A side-by-side comparison shows that Nintendo 3DS had a stronger first year across the board.

Nintendo DS* Nintendo 3DS**
Launch date Nov. 21, 2004 March 27, 2011
Total HW units sold in first 12 months 2.3 million 4.5 million
Total number of SW titles released in first 12 months 58 100+
Total units of software sold in first 12 months 5 million 9 million+
Total $ sales (HW, SW and accessory) in first 12 months $540 million $1.2 billion+