Happy First Birthday Nintendo 3DS!

Nintendo celebrates the first birthday of the 3DS while it’s got another bun in the oven.

We’ve had a lot of fun on our Nintendo 3DS units. Just look here! And here! And here! All great experiences, and while it is obvious that more are on their way, we can’t forget about the wonderful year Nintendo managed to create for itself.

Not only did the big-N manage to sell 3DS units quicker than the original DS, they also earmarked many distinctive points in their history with some key moments. Of course, they’ve done a great job outlining them for us in a beautiful graphic, but I’ve gone through each in a bit more detail for you.

  • Nintendo had the strongest opening-day launch of any Nintendo handheld in history. More than Game Boy. More than Game Boy Color. More than Game Boy Advance. More than Nintendo DS. The Game Boy moniker carries with it a veritable ton of branding, so to be able to best their own efforts, Nintendo deserves a gold star.
  • The Nintendo eShop was launched only a scant few months later, in June, alongside The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time which has had the fortune of selling nearly a million units since. The game also has an overall rating of 94 and has been called one of the best games, if not the best game of all time for the better part of the last two decades, so it kind of makes sense that it would sell a few.
  • Netflix and Nintendo Video made a splash in July, and while Nintendo Video has great 3D content, Netflix wasn’t exactly praised for its quality on the 3DS. Either way, if you don’t have a smartphone but you’ve got a 3DS and a Netflix account, you have all your movies in your pocket thanks to the 3DS’s built-in WiFi.
  • Within just over six months, Nintendo sold 2.5 million 3DS units in the USA alone, and recently, they noted that they crossed the 5 million mark in Japan alone. With total worldwide sales over 15 million as of December 31, 2011, I’d say the House of Mario isn’t doing too shabby.
  • Through the end of 2011, Nintendo would release Super Mario 3D Land, which remains the console’s best seller, Mario Kart 7 which follows closely behind in sales, as well as a firmware update that allowed the handheld to record 3D videos.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising launches on March 23, 2012 and, having played it, my first impressions? Gorgeous.

Take a look at the graphic below for Nintendo’s official release, as well as a graphic by Gizmodo of Nintendo’s handheld history, including everything from the Game & Watch to the last of the Nintendo DSi units. It’s a great retrospective, and really makes me wish they’d bring the Game Boy name back, if only for nostalgia’s sake, but 3D is here, and Nintendo has made sure it’s here to stay. Click on the graphics to enlarge them – otherwise, good luck reading them!

Congratulations Nintendo – go eat some cake!