Nintendo 3DS sales hit 4.5 million units in first year, outperforms original DS

Nintendo announced this morning that its 3DS handheld will have sold 4.5 million units in the States when it celebrates its first birthday on March 27, 2011. Initial sales were slow for the glasses-free 3D device, but picked up the pace following last year's price cut.

The company predicted late last year that the 3DS would beat first-year sales of the original DS and that held true. The original DS sold 2.3 million units by its first anniversary on November 21, 2004, with 5 million units of software sold in those 12 months and $540 million in revenue. By comparison, the 3DS sell hit 4.5 million units, with over 9 million units of software sold and $1.2 billion in revenue. Of course, the software catalog of the 3DS, when adding original DS titles, is immense in comparison to the DS offerings in its first year.

"With a massive lineup 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," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "We're just getting started but this platform is built for the long haul."

The 3DS passed the 4 million unit mark in Japan and the US this past December. Despite the continued success of the portable, which does show a dedicated gaming device still has a place in this world, Nintendo is still expected to announce its first loss in 30 years at the end of its fiscal year.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.