Nintendo's charming Animal Crossing: New Leaf has performed well, selling over 500,000 copies in the United States since its North American release. That success has translated into investor favor with Nintendo's stock rising to the highest level since July 2011.

As revealed last week in conjunction with the June 2013 NPD report, Nintendo sold 225,000 3DS units, making it the top-selling hardware for the second month running. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the latest in a line of strong performers that includes Fire Emblem: Awakening and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. All three of these received strong critical praise to match the commercial success.

[Source: Bloomberg]

Our Take
Nintendo has the handheld market down to a science. A strong slate of first-party titles, unique third-party offerings, and a range of games for casual and hard-core gamers alike keep the platform strong. The Streetpass system, which recently got a boost from new games and a relay system using Nintendo Zone locations, incentivizes people to carry the 3DS with them more often.

We're looking forward to Nintendo finding the same hook for the Wii U. The hardware, while not as powerful as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, does offer the opportunity for unique experiences with the Gamepad screen. There are good titles coming in 2014, but a few more (Metroid and a new The Legend of Zelda) wouldn't hurt.