Sales of the 3DS in Japan are averaging 83,000 units each week in 2012, giving the handheld a 55 per cent share of all gaming hardware, but the situation is much less impressive in Europe and the US, says Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

"What we should say first is that while the Nintendo 3DS has a certain degree of sales momentum in Japan, the momentum in the US and Europe is currently weak," Iwata has told investors.

He added: "Sales of the Nintendo 3DS are constant in Japan and in fact we could say the sales volume is exceeding our forecast at the start of this fiscal year."

Iwata revealed that given the larger markets in Europe and the US, sales are expected to be higher.

"The sales proportion of the Nintendo 3DS is now about 20 per cent of the total video game sales in those markets. Thus, solid sales momentum has not been created," Iwata explained.

"With the Nintendo 3DS XL I just spoke about and our key titles, such as New Super Mario Bros. 2, to be released globally this summer, one of our immediate top-priority missions is to create sales momentum," he concluded.