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10 Biggest Gadgets of 2011

        Tech | Other Gadgets

5
Nintendo 3DS
HowStuffWorks.com took a Nintendo 3DS apart to see what made it tick. Nintendo's new portable gaming console faced initial lackluster sales, but the public began warming up to the new device as the year went on.
HowStuffWorks.com took a Nintendo 3DS apart to see what made it tick. Nintendo's new portable gaming console faced initial lackluster sales, but the public began warming up to the new device as the year went on.
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Nintendo's DS owned the lion's share of the portable console gaming market in 2011. Sony's PlayStation Portable was a distant second. But that market was changing rapidly, thanks to the rise in popularity of games for smartphones and tablets [source: Reisinger]. But Nintendo had a plan in place to create what it saw as the next big step in portable gaming -- a glasses-free 3-D version of the popular console.

Released worldwide in March 2011, the 3DS carried a suggested retail price of $250. But at first, despite the hype, the device's sales didn't meet the company's expectations [source: Kohler]. And then in August, Nintendo dropped the price to $170. Sales immediately picked up [source: Schreier]. Once Nintendo offered a new game just in time for holiday sales, "Super Mario 3D Land," the title became the fastest-selling of its portable games ever and pushed 3DS sales even more [source: Sherr].

The Nintendo 3DS shows us that pre-release hype isn't an accurate predictor of how a gadget will do when it hits the streets. Our next gadget may be a victim of the same phenomenon.


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