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Is the 3DS finally hitting its stride?

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Nintendo 3DS

To say that Nintendo got off to a rocky start with the 3DS is something of an understatement. After a slight surge when it went on sale, consumer interest nose-dived, forcing the company to slash prices and admit to being guided by hubris.

These days, though, things are looking up for the handheld system. It recently surpassed the first year sales totals of the DS system, and life to date system sales are at a solid 3 million. By February, the company expects to cross the 4 million mark.

It's enough for Nintendo president Satoru Iwata to declare that the 3DS has "regained its momentum" and the company is optimistic about future growth.

Part of that goodwill is coming from a lineup of games that hold interest for players. Famitsu reports that Mario Kart 7 saw sales of 450,000 in its first three days in Japan. And Iwata notes that the game is selling better in the U.S. and Europe.

[ Photos: Star Wars The Old Republic screenshots ]

At the same time, owners of the 3DS are now able to do more with the system than they were a few days ago. Nintendo has pushed out a new system update that lets people record 3D movies on their 3DS. Videos record straight to the SD Card and can last for up to 10 minutes.

The update also allows owners to transfer data between 3DS units, upgrades the StreetPass feature to let you see on a map where you meet other Miis, and adds a sequel to the RPG game Find Mii.

The news is encouraging for the company, but investors aren't celebrating just yet. Nintendo is still on track to report a net loss for the first time in the company's history.

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