Nintendo President Satoru Iwata held a Corporate Management Policy Briefing recently in which he explained how the video game market had begun to contract in recent years, meaning hardware and software sales were flagging.

There has been some cause for optimism this week, though, with the revelation that Super Mario 3D Land has been outpacing the sales of Super Mario Galaxy in its first year. Nintendo’s latest earnings report states that in its first 13 months Super Mario 3D Land shifted 8 million copies worldwide, while in its first 13 months Super Mario Galaxy sold 7.66 million.

However, Super Mario Galaxy did perform slightly better than Super Mario 3D Land in the West, which is crucially where Nintendo is having the most trouble at the moment. Super Mario 3D Land is outselling Galaxy by nearly double in Japan, however, which is the main reason behind the overall outpacing of the Wii game.

This at least shows that there's still a lot of demand out there for Mario games, and Nintendo can at least be a little optimistic this year with several exclusive titles emerging on both the 3DS and Wii U.

3D Mario titles tend to attract Western gamers more so than their Japanese counterparts, but a blend of 2D and 3D appears to have been a success for Nintendo. It wouldn't be at all surprising to see a sequel to the game announced at some point.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you like to see more of the 3D/2D mixture found in Super Mario 3D Land? Let us know in the comments below.