3DS almost doubles year-one DS sales total in US

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Well, this is impressive: Nintendo of America sold through 4.5 million 3DS units in the system’s first year of availability. This is almost double the 2.3 million units sold by the original DS in its opening 12 months.

Obviously, these stats are skewed slightly by the release timing and the price cut less than six months into the 3DS’s life cycle. Still, the numbers are impressive. The 3DS generated $1.2 billion for Nintendo in 2011, in addition to $540 million for the original DS.

NOA President Reggie Fils-Aime said, “Nintendo 3DS closes its first year with a lengthy list of accomplishments but we’re still just scratching the surface.

“With a massive line-up 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.”

Nintendo had better hope so – the company posted financial losses for the first time in history last year, despite the release of titles such as Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Super Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart 7.

As always, the 3DS faces ongoing competition from the rapidly-growing mobile market. Nonetheless, the 3DS does have an “incredibly bright future” ahead, with titles like Luigi’s Mansion 2, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Kingdom Hearts [Dream Drop Distance] still on the horizon.