The Nintendo 3DS launched in the US on March 27th, and Nintendo has released sales figures for the first week. The company managed to get 400,000 units out the door in those 7 days, which Nintendo of America President and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime praised as a strong launch. The launch numbers are a bit less than analysts had hoped for, but Nintendo praised the number, noting that there were relatively few sellouts around the country and everyone who wanted a 3DS on launch week were able to get one without issue.
A number of outlets point to the fact that the Nintendo DSi and DSi XL consoles – the handheld predecessors to the 3DS – sold 460,000 consoles in March, beating the 3DS’s launch numbers. The comparison is a bit skewed, since the 460,000 number includes all sales for the month of March, while the 3DS was only available for the last week of the month. Even so, the DSi sold 500,000 units in its first week on store shelves back in 2004, comfortably beating the 3DS at launch.
Part of the reason behind the 3DS’s launch numbers may be the lack of games available for the console just yet. Aside from Street Fighter IV and Pilotwings Resort, most of the highly anticipated 3D games for the device aren’t available yet. Kid Icarus: Uprising, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Dead or Alive Dimensions, and Star Fox 64 3D are all still in development.
Regardless, Nintendo is confident that the 3DS will take off in the long term, especially as more games that use the system’s 3D technology are released, and when Netflix streaming becomes available for the 3DS later in the summer. Also, Nintendo has high hopes as Hollywood comes on board to provide 3D movie trailers that 3DS owners can download and watch.
The combined sales of the 3DS, the DSi, DSi XL, and the Nintendo Wii all amounted to a strong sales month for Nintendo. Over 1.1 million Nintendo consoles were sold over the course of the month. It’s possible that the company is looking to quell disappointment over missing the 2010 holiday season by launching the 3DS now, and letting the must-have games spark additional demand as they come to market – especially as we approach the fall shopping season.
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