It is an undeniably volatile time for the video game industry. At any one moment, the fortunes of individual developers, publishers, and hardware manufacturers are far from certain–even following critical and financial victories.

Nowhere has this been more evident than in the case of Nintendo. Once the unquestioned kings of the current-generation “console war,” the gaming giant has faced a tough year of underperforming sales, rollercoaster stock prices, and a dire first-quarter financial report that called for a massive drop in projected profits.

Fortunately, Nintendo fans can take heart in recent sales figures for the Nintendo 3DS handheld console. Though the console initially sold meagerly compared to Nintendo’s first estimates, a price cut for the 3DS appears to have stimulated latecomer sales. According to a report regarding United States electronics retail by the NDP Group, overall sales of the Nintendo 3DS have risen some 260 percent since the console dropped in price.

Nintendo Corporation stock took a drubbing following the July financial report that forecasted stormy weather ahead for the company. The hardware manufacturer launched into swift action, dropping the price of the 3DS almost 32 percent in the United States in August – in order to attract sales. To pacify early adopters angry with a price drop so soon after launch, Nintendo announced a Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. In effect, the Ambassador program made it so anyone who purchased the 3DS before the price drop could download ten classic Nintendo titles for free from the 3DS digital storefront.

The NDP Group’s report on August retail, released today, indicates that the 3DS price cut and goodwill campaign have been effective incentives. Approximately 235,000 3DS units were sold in August–185,000 of which were bought up after the price drop. At long last, this placed the handheld as the second-best-selling console in the United States for the month of August.

Nintendo 3DS Sales Jump

Despite the happy news of the 3DS’s wider adoption, Nintendo isn’t quite out of the woods yet. Worldwide sales of the 3DS will need to advance quickly in order to reach the figures predicted before its initial launch. While August’s sales figures indicate that consumers finally find the 3DS’s price reasonable enough for casual purchase, it remains to be seen whether Nintendo can produce the kind of original proprietary content necessary to sustain a console for its full, projected life cycle.

Did you purchase a 3DS once the price dropped? Were you an early adopter of the handheld? Does news of increased 3DS sales make you more optimistic for Nintendo’s future? Dive into the comments and share your thoughts!

tags: 3DS, Nintendo