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(Pocket-lint) - Contrary to popular belief, the Nintendo 3DS has not been a failure and has, in fact, sold faster than the massively successful Wii games console did in its first nine months of life. The company has announced that it ended 2011 with more than four million units of the handheld glasses-free device being sold in the US alone.

In addition, 3DS-only titles Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 have been the fastest-selling games in the history of their respective franchises, with Nintendo flogging over one million copies of each in the US.


Considering that the Wii took longer to bed in than, it seems, the 3DS, yet still went on to have an installed user base of 39 million in the States (over 90 million worldwide), perhaps those who decry that the handheld console is a "flop" will have to think again.

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Scott Moffitt, sales and marketing executive of Nintendo of America, even claims that this is just the beginning: "One of the strongest software line-ups in our history helped Nintendo have a great holiday season and to close 2011 with a full head of steam," he said.

"Not only have the new Mario and Zelda titles already broken records, but with strong reviews and satisfied customers sharing their positive experiences, all three are also shaping up to be the latest long-tail titles from Nintendo.

"Couple that with a massive first- and third party line-up in the first part of the year and the prospects for 2012 are extremely promising."

What do you think? Will the 3DS continue to surprise naysayers with its success, or will the Vita come along and scupper its chances? Let us know in the comments below...

Writing by Rik Henderson.