The NPD Group's gaming figures for June have made the rounds, and both Microsoft as well as Nintendo have something to crow about, albeit for very different reasons. Nintendo is the most eager to prove itself and says that the 3DS has hit five million total sales in the US since it reached gamers' hands in the country. The tally doesn't compete with the heady numbers smartphone designers are used to, but it's a milestone for a handheld console whose prospects were dim until a sudden price cut fueled sales a year ago. Before Nintendo lets the 155,000 3DS units it sold in June get to its head, however, it's important to get context from Microsoft's own achievements: Redmond shipped 257,000 Xbox 360 units that month and has had the lead among all US consoles for the past year and a half. We're in the dark on Sony data, although it's important that just 90,000 Wii units traded hands in the same month -- as clear a sign as any that the Wii U can't come quickly enough for Satoru Iwata and company.
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Nintendo 3DS Crosses 5 Million Units Sold
Nintendo 3DS, which lets users see 3D images without the need for special glasses, has now sold 5 million units in the United States, according to the NPD Group, which tracks video game sales in the United States. With Nintendo 3DS XL, which features 90 percent larger screens, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 both launching on Aug. 19, and a holiday lineup that sees the Luigi's Mansion and Paper Mario franchises make their hand-held debuts, the system's momentum should continue through 2012 and beyond.
"Nintendo 3DS is entering the next phase of its life cycle with new hardware, new games and proven franchises. This milestone shows we've got a great foundation to build from," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "The game lineup for Nintendo 3DS last holiday season was one of the strongest in our history. We're poised to top it this year. Every week, gamers will have the best franchises in the world in a glasses-free 3D experience that can't be found anywhere else. Add Wii U into the mix and it's a great time to be a Nintendo fan."
Other Nintendo milestones achieved in June include:
* The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D became the third Nintendo 3DS title to sell more than 1 million units, joining Super Mario 3D Land (2.1 million units sold life to date) and Mario Kart 7 (1.75 million units sold life to date).
* For the month, two of the top five and nine of the top 25 best-selling software SKUs play on Nintendo platforms.
* For the second month in a row, Nintendo held a 75 percent market share for portable hardware in the United States.
* Nintendo sold more than 400,000 total hardware units in June and saw double-digit growth across each of its product lines compared to May. This includes more than 155,000 Nintendo 3DS systems, more than 150,000 units of the Nintendo DS family of systems and nearly 95,000 Wii consoles.
For more information about Nintendo, visit http://www.nintendo.com.