As many of you know, Nintendo has been a big name in gaming for quite a few years, having provided us with paradigm-shifting hardware on a consistent basis as well as loading each system up with some of the best gaming software around. Almost every Nintendo console is a massively beloved piece of machinery, and even game cartridges that we have held on to long after our systems wore out from our excessive abuse hold strong sentimental and nostalgic value. Hit the jump to learn about how these systems have and are faring in the marketplace.
One such iconic system was the Nintendo 64, or “N64,” that gave us games like Sarge’s Heroes, Diddy Kong Racing, Rayman, Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and so much more. Although a little clunky, the N64 was a soldier and outlasted all the drops, lack of cleaning, jamming of cartridges and other careless acts I inflicted on it, as I’m sure yours would have too if you somehow managed to treat it with civility when you were young. Over the course of the N64’s active life in the market Nintendo sold 32,930,000 units, which is still a solid number given the time frame of its release and lifespan, and is better than the flop of, say, the Virtual Boy (which I still have). Despite the N64 not being a world-changing tidal wave of fangirl-inducing gamer feels, those who did own a system probably had a good ten pounds of games to go with it, if not more. According to the most recent numbers, Nintendo sold 224,970,000 copies of games for the console. Here’s some perspective on that number: the GameCube sold 208,570,000 games during its lifespan and it had hundreds of games available.
The reason the N64 is coming up at the moment is because, as a fairly recent (only three home console generations ago) phenomenon, it is a great subject for comparison, specifically for the 3DS. According to an article by Nintendo Everything, the 3DS has surpassed the N64 hardware sales and it hasn’t even been on the market for three years. As of September 2013 the 3DS has sold 34,980,000 consoles, which isn’t too far above the N64’s numbers, but when taken in the context of release time, it is very impressive. The original DS was a market explosion and is one of three Nintendo consoles to have sold over 100,000,000 units, and it is looking like the 3DS has the potential to join its predecessor in the hall of fame.
Even without Pokemon, A Link Between Worlds and the 2013 Christmas rush, the 3DS has sold 122,420,000 games thus far. If the line up of releases continues to be this successful, even without such popular titles as previously mentioned, the 3DS will easily make it into the top three Nintendo consoles for game sales, which currently include the DS, with 938,930,000 games sold, the Wii, with 883,970,000 games sold and the combination of the GameBoy and GameBoy Color, with 501,110,000 games sold. This is very exciting news for Nintendo, who we know has been dropping the ball lately. With the competitors’ consoles being released for the holidays, it is the 3DS that they can most count on to ride them through the season. That said, I fully anticipate that with the right marketing fix, the Wii U could make a strong comeback for next year. Right now they are by far the cheapest option, and if the game lineup can be spruced up (a lot) then there is no reason the Wii U cannot do decently.