While worldwide performance and firm figures are either hard to find or occasionally shown to be modest, one thing is certain — the 3DS is emerging as a major sales success in Japan. Perhaps due to the power of franchises — Animal Crossing: New Leaf has been a monster hit — the handheld's performance is such that it's already surpassed the lifetime sales of the PlayStation 3 in Nintendo's homeland.

After passing various landmarks last year, it's emerged that the handheld has now hit a particularly significant target by reaching ten million sales in Japan. According to figures from Enterbrain the handheld has hit the impressive milestone in just 98 weeks, and it's continuing to dominate the hardware charts on a weekly basis. There are more big releases on the way to the region such as Monster Hunter 4, while the arrival of Pokémon X & Y in October won't exactly harm the system's prospects.

The future for the 3DS in Japan couldn't look much brighter, and if this year's releases can also prompt a surge of sales in the West, Nintendo and its shareholders could be very happy indeed.

[source neogaf.com, via gonintendo.com]