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3DS sales have "slowed considerably" claim analysts

Honeymoon period already over, but 11.6 million sales predicted by end of 2011

Sales of the Nintendo 3DS have "slowed considerably" since the initial launch, according to analysts, with predictions suggesting the new portable will not match the success of the DS.

"Based on our recent checks, we believe that sales of the 3DS have slowed considerably since the initial launch window, although the Easter holiday could provide a near-term boost," said Lazazrd Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian, according to IndustryGamers.

A new report from research firm Screen Digest suggests that the 3DS will see "rapid adoption" in 2011, with a healthy 11.6 million sales by the end of the year. However, it cites competition from tablets and smartphones as reasons why the 3DS is unlikely to equal the sales of the DS.

By 2015 Screen Digest estimates 70 million unit sales for the 3DS, compared to 91 million for the Nintendo DS and DS Lite over the same period.

The Nintendo DS family of consoles has currently sold upwards of 145 million units worldwide, putting it on course to become the most successful video game format of all time - beating even the PlayStation 2 on 150 million.

The 3DS has been launched in a very different market to that of the DS in 2004 though, with recent estimates placing US launch figures at 750,000. This compares to 303,000 in Europe, including, 113,000 in the UK and 50,000 in Germany.

With Nintendo reticent to reveal even those launch figures the only country to provide regular weekly hardware updates is Japan, where the 3DS has sold only 800,000 units in its first month compared to its target of 1.5 million.

As a result of the latter Nintendo ADR shares reached a two year low at the end of last week, over increasing uncertainty over the format's future sales potential.

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