SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Nintendo announced on Tuesday that it sold more than four million of its 3DS portable gaming consoles in the United Sales since it began selling them in February.

CNET Editor at Large Brian Cooley said the system is far more than just a regular gaming console.

“It’s not just a portable device, but as the name suggests, it’s a 3D device,” he said. “It gained sales to a record 4.5 million. And then you have the Wii console dropping from 10 to 7 to now in the 4 million range. This is partly because the Wii console doesn’t really have much of a new message right now.”

CNET Editor at Large Brian Cooley:

Cooley said that if Nintendo wants sales of the Wii to improve, the company has to make it more viable for other forms of media than just gaming.

“If they are able to branch it more to embrace things like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon and all these video stores that are the rage right now online within the living room, turning the living room into a place that you stream, rather than just at your desktop or laptop,” said Cooley. “But then you blur the message. The Nintendo Wii has always been the simpler, more affordable, easier to set-up device that has simple Wii games.”

Cooley said that portable gaming devices like the 3DS could struggle to compete against smartphones, many of which can already be used as a gaming device, along with its other functions.

You can hear Brian Cooley’s Tech Watch report Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:50 P.M. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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