As it turns out, the death of the handheld has been greatly exaggerated. Despite the iPhone (and the iPad) conquering all, and what their advocates will tell you, many out there are still interested in dedicated gaming devices.
Case in point: the 3DS has just surpassed the Wii when it comes to lifetime sales, in Japan at least.
Joystiq reports that the Wii has to date sold 12,698,878 in Japan, making it Nintendo's most successful console in their homeland of all time, and recent figures state that total 3DS sales thus far is 12,752,731 units.
Quite impressive when one considers the fact that console is approaching its 7th birthdate, and the handheld has been on the market for a little over two years.
What's even more impressive is how, when it first made its debut, many found the 3DS to be a curiosity at best, and some even questioned Nintendo's better judgement behind the whole thing. It just goes to show how compelling software will justify a system, despite any perceived inadequacies with said hardware.
Though Joystiq also points out that the primary reason for the 3DS's success has been, not Mario nor Pokemon, but "Monster Hunter 4". It's also why many have lamented the sluggish adoption rate of the Vita, since there is none as of yet. Hopefully the just announced port of "Monster Hunter Frontier G" will help its case.
Granted, it's a port of a six year old PC game, which was ported to the 360 three years later, but it's better than nothing. Though back to the 3DS, it remains to be seen if it manages to outsell the most popular consoles of all time in Japan, period, that being the PlayStation 2. Which is a little over 21 million units, in case anyone was wondering.
Though that's somewhat of an unfair comparison, given how the PS2 has been around for over a decade. Then again, the 3DS is already past that halfway mark, and again, it's only been around for a fraction of that time. So who knows?