Nintendo DS Outsells 3-D Version After First Full Month of Sales

The original Nintendo DS family continued to outsell the Nintendo 3DS during the first full month the glasses-free 3-D handheld gaming unit was for sale.

According to NPD Group, Nintendo sold more than 620,000 hardware units in the U.S. in April. This includes more than 257,000 units in the Nintendo DS family, and only 194,000 Nintendo 3DS units. Nintendo also sold more than 172,000 Wii consoles.

Nintendo attributed the gap between the two handheld game units to the staying power of the original DS family–and avoided any implications that the 3DS was not selling well.

“With a rich library of games, Nintendo DS has something for everyone. The system’s staying power is exemplified by the recent launch of the Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version games,” Nintendo said. Those two games sold an impressive 2.8 million units or more combined during their first 60 days of availability.

After the 3DS went on sale March 27, Nintendo was eager to report that the glasses-free 3-D device broke sales records. However, the original DS still appears to be benefiting from having a deeper catalog of games available for sale. Additionally, sales may have been hurt by concerns of younger players viewing 3-D images over long periods of time, or complaints that 3-D images made people dizzy, or gave them headaches.

Overall, NPD Group said that the videogame industry saw very strong sales for hardware, software and accessories in April, compared to the year-ago period.

NPD’s Anita Frazier wrote that all three categories experienced double-digit dollar growth compared to April 2010, reversing a negative downward trend.

“Easter purchasing occurred in April this year as opposed to March last year,” Frazier wrote. “The Easter timing shift could explain about $60 million of the growth, but even accounting for that shift, sales of new physical product realized a notable increase versus last year.”

Hardware sales were strong across the board with the PS3, PSP and Xbox 360 platforms all seeing an increase in unit sales versus April last year. The Xbox 360 platform was the best-selling device of the month in terms of unit sales, followed by the Nintendo DS.

Software performed even better in April. It was the first month that new physical retail sales of content showed growth in both units and dollars since November of last year.

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