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Editorial: The End of Handheld?

There have been so many false, unfounded predictions of a huge Nintendo failure over the past few years - mostly involving massively biased fanboy commentators confidently anticipating the death of the Wii - that when the failure actually came, the event was so tempered with a sense of deja vu that it was hard to tell whether it actually felt surprising or not.

Yet there's absolutely no question that what has happened to the 3DS is, indeed, a huge failure for Nintendo. I'm being careful to say "for Nintendo" here, because it's important to retain some perspective; the 3DS has shipped close to 4.5 million units worldwide, which would be considered pretty good by many consumer device companies.

The 3DS is faring a hell of a sight better than, for example, tablet devices based on Android, or phones using Windows Phone 7 - and as others have been swift to point out, the figures aren't actually that far away from those achieved by the original Nintendo DS after its launch.