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New 3DS XL sales already buoying slumping 3DS performance

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Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, hosted the company's financial results briefing for the third quarter and, while there were many notable details shared, sales of the New 3DS XL proved a bright spot in Nintendo's results.

This chart is based on "preliminary" internal sales data since the hardware launched last Friday, but the numbers speak for themselves. Consumer interest in the 3DS has grown since the launch of the Nintendo 3DS XL.

3ds sales

"At the end of last year, some video game enthusiasts, who actively gather information on video games, held off on buying Nintendo 3DS hardware in anticipation of the New Nintendo 3DS launch," Iwata stated. "Thanks to these consumers and some highly anticipated titles being released simultaneously, we had a good launch despite it not being the usual sales season. Our next challenge is to keep this sales momentum."

That being said, another chart shows that 3DS hardware sales are actually down year-over-year for the third quarter.

3ds sales 2

"In the U.S. and Europe ... we were unable to take full advantage of the year-end sales season in selling Nintendo 3DS hardware, despite some hit titles, as some consumers decided to wait for the New Nintendo 3DS, whose launch date was set on February 13, 2015," Iwata explained.

The New 3DS XL seems to be doing extremely well, going by Nintendo's comparisons to past products and anecdotal evidence of sold-out product at retail, but the company needs to bolster hardware sales across the product line to meet, if not exceed, last year's sales.

This is also based on early internal data after merely a few days of sales, so it may be premature to pop the champagne. Iwata's conjecture that the slump is due to people waiting for the new hardware may very well be the case, and the performance of the New 3DS XL will get them back on track, but it's going to take strong long-term sales of the new hardware to fuel growth.

You can read our review of the New 3DS XL right here.