The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL have sold a combined total of 500,000 units in Japan as of November 9th. Japanese sales tracker Media Create reports that it is performing similarly to of the Nintendo DSi, the updated version of the Nintendo DS, when that device launched back in 2008.
The circumstances leading up to the launch of both devices are similar in other ways, too. Sales of the Nintendo DS line in 2008 were 2.49 million—42.93% of the total DS sales the year prior—leading up to the launch of the DSi. Cut to 2014, and Nintendo 3DS sales this year were at 1.6 million—49.55% of 2013’s 3DS sales—prior to the New 3DS launch.
In its launch year, the Nintendo DSi made use of the end-of-year holiday period to increase its sales, and reached 1 million units sold by its eighth week (which was the third week of December). By the end of the year, it had sold 1.2 million units.
Six years have passed since then, and the market has changed a great deal. That said, while a direct comparison is hard to make due to the time-gap, Media Create estimate that the New Nintendo 3DS, too, should be able to hit 1.2 million units sold by the end of 2014, owing to the upcoming release of million-sellers like Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire and Yo-kai Watch 2: Headliner.
The real question, of course, is how the Nintendo 3DS line will continue to sell beyond 2014. Nintendo and third-party publishers will need to continue providing meaningful support for the 3DS to sell people on the device, whether they’re upgrading from an older 3DS model or are newcomers to the 3DS entirely.