Upon it’s launch, many people had already counted the Nintendo 3DS as a failure, claiming a slow start and a big price tag were to be it’s downfall. The latest numbers would seem to put these claims to rest, in Japan at least. Lifetime 3DS sales have hit 4,135,739 units, surpassing the lifetime sales of the Nintendo Gamecube (as of this year counted at 4,040,000 units), a feat made more impressive by the
fact that the system has only been out for about ten months. It is also worth noting that this number was reached far faster than even the popular Nintendo Wii, a system on the shelves for 54 weeks before surpassing the lifetime sales numbers of the Gamecube.
Software sales have been keeping up as well, with Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario Land 3D passing the one million copy sold mark, coming in at 1,082,391 and 1,042,511 respectively. Monster Hunter 3G is also quickly closing the gap to one million.
With just under three months to go, Nintendo is still a ways off from their predicted fifteen million sales by March 31, 2012. They do seem to be closing the gap now, however, with the help of a massive price cut and some decent first party titles. With big titles on the way like Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance and Resident Evil Revelations early this year, the number does not seem as unattainable as it had seemed mere months ago.
Within the same month as their fifteen million sale mark, Nintendo has planned to launch the start of paid download content sales on the 3DS. The first game to be receiving downloadable content will be the first Fire Emblem game released on the console. Fire Emblem was announced back in September, and there has been very little information released about it since. Players will be able to use either prepaid cards or credit card to make purchases. The 3DS firmware was already updated for billing functionality earlier this month. Third party publishers are also making preparations for paid download content to begin rolling out starting summer 2012.