The 3DS will sell 11.6m units by the end of 2011 but won’t match sales of the previous DS, says IHS Screen Digest.
Research from the company suggests that by 2015 this 11.6m figure will have risen to a global installed base of 70m. This compares to 91m for the DS and DS Lite at a comparable point in its life cycle.
The DS sold 13.1m units within its first year – 1.5m more than Screen Digest’s estimation for year-one 3DS sales.
Screen Digest says 3DS sales performance will be strong, but iPod, iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets will prevent it from topping sales of the DS.
“Nintendo’s accent on network services in the key US market represents an attempt to convince users to carry their 3DS systems with them at all times and to engage with the platform everyday and in every place,” said IHS’ lead games analyst Piers Harding Rolls.
“This engagement strategy, alongside 3D graphics, camera and video, is key to Nintendo competing with upcoming devices from Sony and also from non-specialist smartphones, entertainment devices and tablets, which offer a legitimate alternative to handheld consoles.”
The DS launched in 2004. By the end of 2010, the console had sold 136m units worldwide.