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Analysts predict Nintendo 3DS to achieve 11.6 million sales by 2012

IHS Screen Digest research has predicted that the Nintendo 3DS is to achieve global sales of 11.6 million by the end of 2011 which will provide a “strong performance” for the handheld, although “growing competition from the iPod, iPhone and Android smart phone and tablets” will mean that it won’t be able to match its predecessor, the Nintendo DS.

The firm places the connectivity and local networking features of the handheld as the most significant factors that will drive its success, and forecast that it’ll have a global installed base of 70 million by 2015 – which compares to the DS/ DS Lite that had 91 million at a comparable point in its sales cycle. Such functionality incorporating StreetPass, SpotPass, and Netflix services (in North America) will drive continued appeal.

“Nintendo’s accent on network services in the key U.S. 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,” commented Piers Harding Rolls, lead games analyst at IHS. “This engagement strategy, alongside 3-D graphics, camera and video, is key to Nintendo competing with upcoming devices from Sony and also from non-specialist smart phones, entertainment devices and tablets, which offer a legitimate alternative to handheld consoles.”

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