News Article

3DS Sales Tracking Ahead of Game Boy Advance In Japan

Posted by Liam Doolan

Unsurprisingly lagging behind DS sales figures

The 3DS has demonstrated its solid market performance yet again, with the latest Japanese sales tracking figures from Media Create revealing Nintendo’s beloved handheld is selling faster than the Game Boy Advance.

After 154 weeks since the system’s original release in Japan, a total of 15 million units have been sold. This figure places the 3DS ahead of the Game Boy Advance which had only sold around 11.64 million in Japan by this point, and significantly behind the DS which had sold around 20.16 million units by its 154th week.

Only recently, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated the 3DS would be the company’s main profit driver for the next fiscal year as opposed to its big brother, the Wii U, with more major game releases sure to be announced in the coming months.

Based on these Japanese sales figures, do you think the 3DS has the ability to keep Nintendo at the top of its game? Sound off in the comments below.


From the web

User Comments (41)



MuchoMochi said:

I think the 3DS could come close to that number, especially if Nintendo keeps spoon feeding Japan all the special edition 3DS and 3DS XL's they get. or if they released the 2DS there.



Zero_Revolution said:

I wouldn't be surprised if the 3DS oversold the GBA worldwide within the next couple years, it's doing pretty well.



Yamitora1 said:

They need to retool the DSi so that it can play 3DS games and people can have a 3D-less 3DS with the clam shell design for an additional option for those who do not want to buy a 2DS



Mahe said:

@Yamitora1 Part of 2DS's appeal is also the better design with less cramped controls. That's hard to achieve with a clamshell design if you want to keep the 3DS circle pad.



K-Gamer said:

Good for the 3ds. Be nice if the Wii U could do a 64. No pun intended.



Yamitora1 said:

@Aqueous Why pay the $40 extra dollars for a feature they do not or cannot use.

@Mahe I know, I have a 2DS for a number of reasons but people still like options. Plus I forget his name, but a analysis guy in japan said they should have just dropped the 3DS price or made one without the 3D.



IceClimbers said:

Am I the only one who finds the clamshell design of the 3DS and 3DS XL more comfortable than the 2DS? I found the 2DS to be very uncomfortable. I feel that the back edges should have been rounded. It would have made the 2DS far more comfortable.



Zobocop said:

I'd like to point out the GBA ultimately sold over 80 million units worldwide, and only had an active lifespan of about 3 1/2 years.



Ralek85 said:

@Yamitora1 interessting, I thought in the opposite direction, hoping for a kind of "premium" 3DS maybe with a built-in circle pad pro and something like the nais vita oled screen and better speakers maybe improved battery live also a better formfactor would be nais. Same specs of course. I love my 3DS and the games, still I'd be willing to pay extra for a improved hardware experience. So basically kind of a DSi just more improved. Maybe someday ...



Will-75 said:

Hands down my all time favorite system is the 3DS XL with the Circle Pad Pro attached ..



babyguess said:

If Nintendo keeps making 3DS XL Limited Editions, it may even outsell the DS. I wonder if we will have a new 3DS XL Lite this year?



FireHorsePrime said:

I have three 3DS's but gave my original flame red to a friend of mine so now I only have two 3DSXL's. Now I'm thinking I want another regulard 3DS to put in my pocket when I out. Don't want to carry around my larger XL's.



mullen said:

@Yamitora1 for your $40, $30 is because of the clamshell design and others (e.g., mono speaker, no wireless switch) and $10 is the 3D screen.



rjejr said:

@FireHorsePrime - 3DSgo

The DS was followed by the DSlite, which most people would say was an improvement over the "phat", and then the DSi, which was also an improvement w/ internet and cameras, though it did drop backwards compatibility which was a negative. And the XL along the way.

The 3DS has had the larger XL and the bit of a downgrade 2DS removing 2D and stereo, but nothing in the way of improvements like the "Lite" or "i". It will be out 3 years next month and in handhelds lifespans it's due for a bit of an overhaul. The "i" came out 4 years after the original so there should be a significant upgrade by 2015.

I don't honestly think the 2/3DS family will catch the DS family, too many smartphones and tablets in the world, but it isn't over yet. It hasn't had a price drop in 2 years, so that's due as well.

I think a 2/3D U could sell as a 2nd Wii U controller/Gamepad, all Nintendo has to do is ad in that not quite wi-fi chip, though I can't imagine a handheld w/ a disc slot Playing 3DS games thru the Wii U to the tv is the way to go though.



TheAdza said:

Nintendo can't market the name Wii U. How on earth could they manage to market a 2/3DSXLiU? Lol



BinaryFragger said:

Pretty strong numbers especially when you consider that many people have been predicting the death of dedicated handheld consoles for years. The days of selling 150+ million units (like the DS) are probably long gone but it's nice to see that the system is doing well.



Nimious said:

Taking into account the amount of profit made per DS vs a 3DS and the amount that the DS has outsold the 3DS, it's clear that Nintendo is sluggish at best.

Nintendo really needs to try more things to get back into the game.



Buduski said:

The 3DS is still a relatively young console IMO, but I think its safe to say it can be named ONE of Nintendo's greatest consoles



SuperCharlie78 said:

I think the overall sales of the GBA (80 M) is the best they can reach, which is clearly good but not to the point of avoid losses.
So ok, I'm more concerned on enjoying the games, but I can't help being seriously worried for Nintendo.



larry_koopa said:

At least this Nintendo console is doing well. I've supported every one of Nintendo's handhelds and I stand by my belief that the 3DS XL is one of the best consoles out there, ever.



Phle said:

The 3DS is doing great I don't see why that would change any time soon. To launch the 3DS XL model was obviously a genius act, and even the 2DS seems like a good idea. I must admit I would never get a 2DS for myself, but it would probably be my first choice if I where to buy a handheld console for a 5-8 year old kid.



unrandomsam said:

The 3DS game library is still not very diverse. (And the Virtual Console is limited so it doesn't really fill in the gaps much).



unrandomsam said:

@Buduski The games on it are not very diverse when compared to both the GBA and DS. (Even at similar points in their respective releases). Loads are 30fps as well and made super easy to compensate.

@kereke12 One good thing about the Sony is the fact that the resolution is double that of the PSP so PSP stuff still works well on it. (Excluding the messing around needed to buy from the Jap PSN store). DS stuff looks awful on the 3DS.



Tuberocity said:

Been stating this same comment since day one of the 3DS release. Nintendo needs to release a loss leader just as Amazon, and Google have. The amount of money made by selling content alone is enough to sustain Nintendo; if they do it right! Nintendo mentioned setting up a music service at one point which fell through the cracks as I knew it would. How can you sell music on a device incapable of powering even the modest of earphones? Ridiculous idea on Nintendo's part. However, should Nintendo decide to give me the handheld console/tablet I desire with a market leading screen, great sound, and the accoutrements one associates with tablets they will have my $199 including subscription to any video and music services they might set up. Will this happen? doubtful. Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and others, have this market locked down. Nintendo's investment to catch up would be far to risky. Better to make said console/tablet equal to or surpassing the current tablet trends, while including the ability to play 3DS games, and possibly Wii-u as well. Should Nintendo make this beast withought services attached to garner more revenue, I think $299 would be fair, and they have all my gaming purchases, 3DS, and Wii-u. If Wii-u is not playable on this proposed console, Nintendo loses that portion of my business as I am not going to purchase a Wii-u unless it is included in a new, technologically current, handheld console/tablet with full android access. There will always be a place for a stripped down version of the 3DS in it's current iteration, but I think Nintendo would do well to consider making a tablet version with or without services attached. The technology is there, easy to design I would think so little investment, but decent profits without services attached or possibly huge profits with services. Please Nintendo, give me a pocket monster worthy of your name. Since the fat ( I purchased day one) was released you continually produce units that are based on 15 year old technology which isn't going to exicte anyone, especially a gamer. Take a cue from Google, Amazon, Apple, et al, and give your customers something to make them googleyed. lol



123akis said:

3ds is doing GREAT! but what worries me is that the DS sold 20 million in 154th week... so this means that phones is taking over the market!



Aqueous said:

@Yamitora1 - Well there is a 2DS without a clam shell for that. Likely the difference is in parts there and there are always used systems for cheaper prices.

@MK_II - I never said it was



Zombie_Barioth said:

I'd say that has more to do with a lot of casual players moving on, not necessarily Nintendo being sluggish. One of the big reasons the DS sold like it did was games like Brain Age, heck you had teachers recommending that game to parents for their kids. You don't need a dedicated device for such 'games' anymore, any mobile device will do just fine, then you have sites like Lumosity. I doubt we'll ever see a handheld sell like the DS again.



Nimious said:

@Zombie_Barioth Yes but the gap between sales is huge. If Nintendo cannot captivate markets as it once has it will continue to fade.

Nintendo can do it, they can make a handheld that could outsell the DS. They "just" have to be more imaginative and more open minded when it comes to the mobile sector. Imagine this, a kid's first handheld is also their first phone. That could be an entry model phone from Nintendo. For a more advanced model they make a console grade smartphone (entirely possible as a Nexus 5 clocks faster than a Wii U) for the more mature audience. This smartphone should be able to connect to monitors and TV screens and work as a second or main screen. Coupled with Nintendo exclusive apps like say a Nintendo released emulator, virtual console, etc Nintendo can appeal to both audiences and at the same time bring more value out.

Of course this is Nintendo we're talking about. Even now with the Wii U they still haven't figured out online play and are an entire generation behind. I don't reasonably hope they will be able to jump to the current generation of mobile technology in just a few years.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Oh, I absolutely agree, they can get those kind of sales, just not with dedicated devices anymore. Its not just Nintendo being behind technologically though, they simply won't want to make a separate device. they could easily do a mobile device with a TV out and gamepad compatibility if they wanted, its been done, even the PSP GO does that.

No matter what they'd still rather make that content for their existing devices and just try to convince people they need a DS or Wii U for it. Even if its not content people would buy a Nintendo console for they're still convinced thats the right way to do it.

In fact I wonder if they actually get the difference between casual games like DDR or Wii Sports and software like Brain Age as far as platforms and consumer interest goes.



Joygame51 said:

Love My 3DS XL I waited long enough to get one( PALEEEESE ) it took me over a year to get one after my Dsixl I almost always get thing used but my 3DSXL is still nearly brand new since I got it OCT 13. A bit bemused to hear that it is still lagging behind Japan in sales here in the US but hey ...Such is life.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...