In the eyes of many critics, the past year and a half on the market for the Nintendo 3DS has been rough. Those eyes, it appears, are deceiving as the NPD Group has issued a statement declaring the handheld to have sold more than five million units since launching last March.
The path to this milestone hasn’t been easy; early on in the hardware’s life cycle, Nintendo was forced to drop the price of the 3DS from its controversial peak of $250 to a far more feasible $169.99. Outside of the decrease in cost, the sales of the platform were greatly aided by an expected slew of first-party releases, a lineup that includes The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Super Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart 7. As of June, all three of these titles have reached the milestone of one million units sold.
Sales of the Nintendo 3DS are expected to continue in their positive direction with the launch of the Nintendo 3DS XL, a super-sized version of the handheld, on August 19 and such highly-anticipated releases as New Super Mario Bros. 2 (August 19), Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon (Holiday 2012) and Paper Mario: Sticker Star (Holiday 2012).