3DS vs DS – VGChartz Gap Charts – December 2013 Update - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 27 January 2014 / 5,904 Views

Welcome to the VGChartz Gap charts. The charts will be updated monthly and each article will focus on a different gap chart. The charts include comparisons between the 7th generation and 8th generation, as well as comparing the 8th generation consoles. All sales are worldwide, unless otherwise stated.

3DS vs DS – VGChartz Gap Charts – December 2013 Update

3DS Vs. DS Global:

Gap change in latest month: 1,747,911 - 3DS

Gap change over last 12 months: 11,106,772 - DS

Total Lead: 9,634,794 – DS

3DS Total Sales: 42,127,535

DS Total Sales: 51,762,329

In the latest month of sales for the 3DS gained 1,747,911 units on its predecessor the DS. However, the DS currently leads by 9,634,794 in the first 35 months. Over the last 12 months the DS has gained 11,106,772 unit lead. The gap is expected to grow slightly next month as the 3DS exits the holiday season and the DS entered the 2007 holiday season.

An important note is that the two handhelds launched at different times of the year. The DS first launched in November 2004, while the 3DS launched in February 2011. The 3DS has sold 42,127,535 units in the first 34 months, and the DS 51,762,329 units.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. Outside, in the real world, he has a passion for the outdoors which includes everything from hiking to having received his B.A. in Environmental Studies. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com.

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Kristof81 (on 28 January 2014)

There's one major thing in terms of 3DS and Vita sales, which many people forget about. Back when DS was released, smartphone market was nonexistent or slowly emerging later on. That was the best time for the handheld market (both for Sony and Nintendo) as there was no real alternative. But now they need to compete against mobile devices and this is quite serious competitor.

Shadow1980 (on 27 January 2014)

Can we get a regional breakdown here? Sales curves can vary widely between regions. For example, the DS peaked in 2006 in Japan, 2008 in Europe, and 2009 in the U.S. Going by each region would provide a more accurate picture of how the DS and 3DS compare.

Shadow1980 (on 27 January 2014)

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the DS and 3DS both debuted at different dates in every region as well. The DS debuted in NA in Nov. '04 and in Japan the following month, but didn't debut in Europe until March '05. The 3DS debuted nearly simultaneously in all regions, though, coming out in late February of 2011 and launching a month later in NA, EU, and Australia. A regional breakdown would allow for more accurate launch-aligned comparisons.

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GdaTyler (on 26 February 2014)

3DS will most likely end with PSP numbers.

DialgaMarine (on 27 January 2014)

That's wierd. I thought the 3DS was way on to outsell the DS? It'll obviously still do great lifetime, but it doesn't look like it'll surpass it. Probably end closer to GB numbers, 110 M

pezus (on 27 January 2014)

3DS should fall massively behind this year. A holiday season is still to come for DS and I think I'm right in remembering that it sold 20m+ this year (aligned with 3DS)

Kaizar (on 27 January 2014)

The DS has 1 more holiday then 3DS.
The DS released at $140 and gotten cheaper for the oldest model.
The 3DS released at $250.
The 3DS cost $170 for the past 3 years.

So how on earth is the 3DS selling this much at such high price tags?

And why come no one wants a 2DS anymore?
(the 2DS use to make up 30% of sells in Q4 2913, but now it makes less then 10% of sales, and shrinking)

Anyways, I can see the 3DS selling 30m+ this year because of a long awaited price cut that will be almost as big as the $80 price cut was. (they've been making a profit on the 3DS since September 2012, so it will be more then 2 years with no price cut when they do cut the price in Q4 2014)

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TanukiTrooper (on 27 January 2014)

@Kaizer I am unsure of the price cut this year. Unless there is some kind of miracle, Nintendo will be reporting losses at End of Financial year, they may need the system to continue having a bigger profit margin to make up for the Wii U unit's losses. And I have not seen anyone complaining about the price of the 3DS, especially because there is the introduction level price of the 2DS.

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Shadow1980 (on 27 January 2014)

@pezus. We actually don't know what will happen this year for the 3DS. So far it's done a PSP-like zigzag in NA and Europe, with Year 2 being down from Year 1 but Year 3 being up from Year 2. It was down in 2013 from 2012 in Japan, though. The DS peaked in different years in NA, Europe, and Japan, and each region reacted differently to various games and new models of the system. Currently, at 35 months after its Japanese launch, the 3DS is where the DS was in late October/early November 2007. Globally, the DS remained flat from 2007 to 2008.

While the 3DS will still probably trail the DS, it could get a boost from something this year. Also, in Japan, the DS had already clearly passed its peak 35 months after launch (the main reason why 2008 saw global DS sales remain flat from 2007), while it's still not certain if the 3DS has peaked in Japan yet. Meanwhile, while the DS had yet to peak in the U.S., it had already passed it's most rapid period of growth, and 2008 had a much smaller YoY increase than 2007. The DS did peak in Europe in 2008, but that year also had much smaller YoY growth than the previous year. In both the U.S. and Europe, 2007 was when when the DS experienced its most rapid growth, which is what caused that downward slope in the rightmost third of that graph in the article (again, it wasn't any steeper because the DS had already started declining in Japan).

If each region sees YoY sales increase this year, the DS-3DS gap might not widen that much. While I don't suspect the 3DS will ever come close to completely closing the gap between itself as its predecessor and that said gap will widen over, I still think it stands a good chance of passing 100 million units and that the gap will widen rather gradually.

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