March 6 (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd has sold 4.5 million 3DS hand-held consoles in the United States since the device went on sale a year ago -- sales nearly twice as fast as those of its last hand-held console, the DS, the company said on Tuesday.
Nintendo also said it had sold more than $1.2 billion worth of games, hardware and accessories since the launch of the glasses-free 3D gadget last year. That compares with $540 million in sales related to the DS in its first year in stores.
Sales of the 3DS slumped shortly after it came out, forcing the company to slash its price by about 30 percent less than six months later and to start taking a loss on each device, something it had prided itself on avoiding in the past.
Nintendo's executive vice president of sales and marketing, Scott Moffitt, said in an interview that Nintendo's 3DS sales were within the company's expectations.
"We probably would have expected a different pathway than it did, but when you look back over the year, the system is delivering on its promises," Moffitt said.
Nintendo will launch its Wii U console, a successor to the phenomenally successful Wii, at the year-end in Japan, the United States, Australia and Europe, after showing a final version at the E3 games show in Los Angeles in June.
Nintendo shares closed down 2.4 percent in Japan on Tuesday.