I picked up the original Nintendo 3DS way back in 2011 when they were offering a bunch of free NES and SNES games via the Virtual Console. I thought it was a compelling deal at the time. These days, my 3DS is left collecting dust on some shelf and I’m pretty sure I haven’t even turned it on in the last couple of years. Apparently, though, Nintendo 3DS sales are still on an upward trend, despite all the increased interest in the Nintendo Switch (which I have been playing more).

That just feels weird, doesn’t it? When the Nintendo Switch first came out last year, we all thought that it would effectively cannibalize sales of both the Wii U and the 3DS family and rightfully so, because the Switch is both a home console and a portable console. The Wii U is dead, but Nintendo assured us that that they would continue to support the Nintendo 3DS and they really have.

And the numbers show it. And numbers don’t lie. Over this most recent holiday shopping season, Nintendo 3DS sales actually increased year-over-year compared to 2016. A total of 750,000 units sold in December 2017 in the United States alone, representing a 27 percent bump to the year prior.

All said, when you consider the entirety of the Nintendo 3DS family over the course of its unnecessarily confusing run, they’ve sold a total of over 21 million units in the United States. This includes everything from fancy special editions like the Super NES Edition (which is still available for about $200) or the super snazzy Galaxy Style New 3DS XL, as well as more affordable variants like the New Nintendo 2DS XL (which sells for about $149 online).

To put these numbers in perspective, a total of about 1.5 million Nintendo Switch units sold in December, bringing the total number to somewhere north of 10 million units globally. Maybe the reason why people still want the 3DS/2DS is because Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon were launched in November and with the exception of Pokken Tournament DX, there isn’t a proper Pokemon title on the Switch yet.


We have to figure that the 3DS is coming up on its retirement soon with the Switch taking over the family business for both home and portable. But for now, it looks like gramps still has some kicking left to do.

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