Continuing to demonstrate Nintendo’s grip on the handheld market, the 3DS family has recently hit the milestone of 15 million units sold in the Us, reaching the huge milestone of 52 million worldwide.

Despite garnering serious criticism at the original launch for the relatively high price for a handheld, the 3DS saw great success after a price drop just months after. Coupled with Nintendo’s ethos of “software sells hardware” has helped the clamshell console become Nintendo’s eighth system to hit the 15 million milestone, following in the footsteps of the original Wii and NES.

Nintendo officially stated that they feel the success of the system is because of the great array of games on offer for the platform and gamer-on-the-go. The statement is as follows:

“’Software sells hardware’ has been Nintendo’s mantra for nearly 30 years. And, when you consistently make fun, unique, exclusive games featuring the likes of Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, and Pokémon, you can sell a lot of hardware.”

Nintendo really do know what they’re talking about though. Sticking to stalwart characters and releasing them just enough to populate the 3DS with instant classics like fresh Pokemon installments X and Y, Mario Kart 7 or the newer titles such as Smash Bros, not to mention stellar titles like Bravely Default, Fire Emblem: Awakening and Monster Hunter. This list could get so much longer if we began to branch out into the eShop.

Although Nintendo didn’t mention which were the 7 other consoles that have sold 15 million units in the US, Destructoid have investigated and claim that the other 7 are: NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Wii and DS.

With any luck, we’ll see what new games are on the way for the handheld hero at E3 in just a few short days, and see what kind of fresh support we can see for the 3DS from Nintendo.

For more information on the official statement, head to this article on Gamespot.