Price cut helps 3DS sales soar 260 percent

Nintendo's suddenly strong sales last month are the result of a price cut that dropped the handheld game player from $249 to $169.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
The Nintendo 3DS' sales are picking up.
Sales of the 3DS are finally picking up. Nintendo

Following its price cut last month, the Nintendo 3DS has finally started flying off store shelves, the game company announced yesterday.

After the price was slashed from $229 to $169 on August 12, Nintendo sold 185,000 3DS units in the U.S. That figure was up a whopping 260 percent, compared to the same 19-day period in July. Prior to the price cut, Nintendo had sold 50,000 3DS units in August, bringing its total to 235,000 last month.

"Consumers are responding very positively to the new suggested retail price," Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing, said in a statement.

In fact, Nintendo sold more 3DS handhelds last month in the U.S. than it did during its last fiscal quarter, which ended June 30. According to Nintendo, it sold 110,000 3DS units in the U.S. and 710,000 units worldwide during that three-month period. The previous sluggish sales are what prompted the company to drop the price of the 3DS.

But that's not all Nintendo has planned to improve sales of its device. Yesterday, the company confirmed to CNET that it is bringing a right thumbstick attachment to its 3DS. Further details on that accessory, which will wrap around the bottom panel of the device, have not been revealed.

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Nintendo's sales data was released in conjunction with August industry research from NPD. The research firm reported yesterday that the 3DS placed second in hardware sales last month behind the Xbox 360. In a separate statement, Microsoft reported that it sold 308,000 Xbox 360 units in August and has now led the space in total hardware sales in 14 of the last 15 months.

For its part, Sony didn't offer up console unit sales last month, deciding instead to say that PlayStation 3 sales "were very strong" toward the end of the month after the company dropped the price of its console $50 to $249.

Nintendo announced that it sold 190,000 Wii units in August.

Overall, according to NPD, game hardware sales totaled $249.4 million last month, down 12 percent compared with August 2010.

On the software side, total sales were down a whopping 34 percent to $264.8 million. According to NPD, Deus Ex: Human Revolution was the top-selling title last month, followed by NCAA Football 12 and Call of Duty: Black Ops, respectively.

Those declines, coupled with the fact that Madden NFL 12's sales impact won't be felt until September, pushed total industry revenue lower compared with last year's figures, NPD reported. Sales of hardware, software, and accessories in August hit just $669.9 million, representing a 23 percent decline compared with the $873.8 million in total sales the industry tallied last August.