Nintendo's 3DS, which was starting to look dead in the water, is taking off in Japan following a price cut. The 3DS has surpassed the PS3 in monthly sales to take the top spot, despite the fact that few people are interested in buying software for the gizmo.
When the 3DS launched, sales were slow, but now the handheld hardware is showing steady growth, and is currently the most purchased piece of gaming hardware in Japan. It appears that when the 3DS launched only longtime Nintendo fans were willing to try it, but it took price cuts for the wider audience to become interested.
Originally debuting at $249, the 3DS’ price was then cut 30-percent to $170, in August. The results were almost instant. 3DS sales exploded in Japan and Nintendo sold more than 215,000 units in a week. The results were seen in North America too, where despite a major drop in industry sales in general, the 3DS saw a 260-percent increase.
But the 3DS's biggest problem is software. There is only one title in the top 10, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. If people are not buying the software then the 3DS's shelf life is going to be limited. Nintendo must be hoping that when a new wave of games is released, including Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, things will get better.