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3DS outselling PS3 and Xbox 360 in the UK, Nintendo says

Plus, marketing boss thinks software will drive Wii U sales

A strong run of acclaimed 3DS games in 2013 has helped push the handheld above PS3 and Xbox 360 in the UK.

The portable system is now outselling both Sony and Microsoft's home systems on a week-by-week basis, and has been trending ahead of those systems since May, Nintendo UK marketing executive James Honeywell told MCV.

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"Software sells hardware, you must have heard that from us a lot," said Honeywell.

"Sometimes 3DS, or handheld in general, suffers because people tend to focus on the home console market. But 3DS is really doing the numbers right now."

The performance marks a particularly prosperous period for the handheld, boosted by the success of titles such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Luigi's Mansion 2 and Fire Emblem.

The 3DS also outperformed competition in the US across May and June, according to sales monitor NPD.

In the UK, the 3DS generated more than £22 million in software sales during the first half of 2013, according to estimated data.

Nintendo had to persevere through a challenging initial launch for 3DS, though a prolific software release period has helped drive the system past the 30 million global sales mark. Nevertheless, the handheld is now tracking behind the original DS in terms of life-to-date sales.

The outlook for Nintendo's home system, the Wii U, remains uncertain.

For the UK, the console only managed to shift 179,000 games in the first half of 2013 - that's roughly five per cent of the PS3 game unit sales (3.2m) and even less when compared to Xbox 360 (4.3m). It is also less than a third of the games sold on Wii (650,000) and trails Vita software sales (198,000).

Nintendo hopes it can revitalise sales with a holiday games line-up headlined by Super Mario 3D World.

Commenting on how software has driven 3DS hardware sales, Honeywell added: "The same can be said for Wii U as we move into peak season. With such a strong line-up of titles that are so critically acclaimed, it is just a perfect storm. It has made it the format of the moment."

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