Nintendo has updated its data to reflect the sales of the 3DS and Wii U hardware and software up through September 30, 2016. It definitely demonstrates why Nintendo is so eager to drop the Wii U and release the Switch. At 13.36 million units sold, the Wii U is by far the worst selling home system from Nintendo ever, with the GameCube selling 8 million more consoles during its lifetime.
Even the 3DS, which by all accounts is a success, hasn’t been able to reach the heights of any previous portable released by Nintendo. Still, given the competition from mobile devices 61.57 million units sold isn’t too shabby. It should also be noted that the average retail price for the 3DS is much higher than any prior Nintendo handheld, which could be hampering potential sales. Only this year did the more affordable Nintendo 2DS finally launch in Japan. The 3DS only has to sell about another half a million systems to outsell the NES. It should easily accomplish this over the next few months, but look at the software sales comparison. The 3DS sits at 293 million versus the NES’s whopping 500 million. I’m pretty sure the 3DS won’t be able to hit that number.