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Pokemon Go triggered 80% increase in 3DS hardware sales last month

by • August 18, 2016 • No Comments

The gaming community seems to be split on whether Nintendo should dump its hardware business and focus entirely on making games (hint: they shouldn’t). And with the very successful launch of Pokemon Go on smartphones not long ago
, which
surely adds mass
to the argument Nintendo doesn’t require
a hardware business. But Nintendo doesn’t agree, and it has fresh sales data to back up why.

Pokemon Go launched on July 6 and millions of gamers downloaded the app and started playing. Bad news for 3DS sales, right? Actually, dead wrong. Sales of 3DS hardware in the US for July increased by 80% according to Nintendo, and they believe Pokemon Go was a big part of the reason why.


They aren’t getting specific with the sales data, but the hardware sales increase includes all versions of the 3DS as well as the 2DS. Alongside Pokemon Go, other possible reasons for the huge sales bump include the release of Monster Hunter Generations and a price drop for the 2DS to $79.99.

You can argue the 2DS price drop could of had the largest
impact on sales, and I’d agree if it happened in July, but it’s been $79.99 since May. When Monster Hunter Generations launched in Japan late last year (as Monster Hunter X) there was a huge increase in hardware sales, especially the New 3DS and New 3DS XL models. So it’s safe to assume it caused a sales bump in the US too, but nowhere near worth 80% more. Pokemon Go clearly played a major role in the increased sales.

If you ponder
it, Nintendo likely anticipated this would happen and planned releases around it to take full advantage. They created
the classic Pokemon games (Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow) available through the Virtual Console earlier this year. Then we had Pokemon Go launch, and next up is the release of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon on November 18. And then to cap off the Pokemon releases, Nintendo is expected to have a new Pokemon game (or two) available for the Nintendo NX before September 2017.

So next time someone suggests Nintendo should dump its hardware business, especially if they mention the success of Pokemon Go, you might want to remind them what happened to 3DS sales during July 2016.

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