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Nintendo says its digital sales are soaring

It may have been late to the party, but Nintendo's digital sales are flying, according to the president of Nintendo of America.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Nintendo isn't exactly known for embracing the world of online, but its digital sales are on the rise, according to Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America.

Speaking to GamesIndustry International, Fils-Aime said: "We have 15 Nintendo-published titles available, both physically and digitally [on the 3DS]. So far in 2013, of those 15 available in this format, 11 per cent of sales have come through full digital downloads of those games." But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Fire Emblem: Awakening has sold 240,000 copies in the US, a third of which have been digital. And it's not just games that are flying off the Nintendo eShop's e-shelves. 67 per cent of 3DS owners have connected their console to the Internet, downloading over 41 million items from Ninty's virtual emporium, including videos, demos, game extras, and more.

There's been a huge increase in 3DS game sales generally, too. Counting physical and digital copies, sales are up 55 per cent on last year, according to Fils-Aime. While the 3DS initially had a trickle of games, that'll turn into a flood, Fils-Aime says, as "the pace is going to be dramatically ramped up."

He echoed similar sentiments for the ailing Wii U. While he admitted the pace of launches "has been slower than we hoped", he said it'll "dramatically increase" as games conference E3 approaches.

Don't expect Nintendo to follow Microsoft and make a console to take care of all your lounge-based needs, though. It's staying firmly focused on gaming, which is what its customers want, Films-Aime says. "We believe consumers buy our systems first as a gaming system, then enjoy the other entertainment options, so that's why we're putting such a big emphasis on the gaming software."

Nintendo has been struggling of late, posting its first ever loss last year, so I'm glad one area of its business is thriving. I'm less sure the Wii U will stack up well against the PS4 and Xbox 720 though. And you, our loyal readers, seem to agree. But we'll have to wait and see.

Can Nintendo still compete with Sony and Microsoft? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.