Nintendo has announced that the Nintendo 3DS is far from the flop that many assumed it was, with news that the handheld has sold more than the Wii did in its first nine months of release.

In 2011, Nintendo managed to sell over 12 million units of hardware in the US, with this breaking down as 'more than' 4 million 3DS handhelds, 4.5 million Wiis and around 3.5 million Nintendo DS consoles.

This means that Nintendo has sold over 51 million Wiis in the US since its release. According to Nintendo, however, the 3DS has sold more in the nine months it has been in existence when you compare like for like with the Wii launch.

Massive lineup

"One of the strongest software lineups in our history helped Nintendo have a great holiday season and to close 2011 with a full head of steam," explained Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing.

"Not only have the new Mario and Zelda titles already broken records, but with strong reviews and satisfied customers sharing their positive experiences, all three are also shaping up to be the latest long-tail titles from Nintendo.

"Couple that with a massive first- and third party lineup in the first part of the year and the prospects for 2012 are extremely promising."

Nintendo will be hoping the 3DS sales boom continues into 2012, given that the PlayStation Vita is about to muscle in on its patch.