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High demand reported for 3DS at Japanese launch

Long queues for 400,000 launch day units; 1.1m more systems expected

Nintendo's next handheld, the 3DS, is now on sale in Japan following its weekend launch.

With just 400,000 units available on the system's first day of release (according to the Nikkei) and queues reportedly stretching to 750 people long, the first shipment of consoles sold out quickly. Many of the units were already tied up in pre-orders.

However, a second shipment became available on Sunday, with AndriaSang observing that the queuing situation had by that point apparently resolved itself.

Including the 400,000 already known about, a total of 1.5 million units are expected in Japan by the month's end - with Nintendo predicting 4 million shipments worldwide within the same period.

However, some analysts are concerned Nintendo's new system will not have the staying power of its predecessor - the DS - which has sold in excess of 145 million units to date.

"Because of smartphones they will not see the same growth they once had," Macquarie Securities' David Gibson told Reuters.

Added SMBC Friend Research's Shun Tanaka, "Of course it will be difficult to sell more than the DS in Japan or other developed countries." However, greater sales in emerging territories such as Asia and South America were possible, he felt.

Nintendo's shares have risen by around 20 per cent in anticipation of the launch. The 3DS arrives in Europe on March 25 and the US on March 27.

For more on the Japanese launch of the Nintendo 3DS and consumers' initial reactions to the new system, please see's coverage here.

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Latest comments (5)

I thought the long queues were for Kamen Rider, whereas alot of other folks already pre ordered and waltzed in for their 3DS units in Nihon

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dr. Chee Ming Wong on 28th February 2011 9:54am

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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 10 years ago
400K sold is roughly 1.2-1.4% of the current JPN DS installbase, which isnt half bad. Lets see what the demand is over, let say a month. That gives a better view of what the convertion rate from DS to 3DS is.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 10 years ago

I don't think that 3DS and DS is priced for the same market segment.
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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 10 years ago
@tom Currently no, but historically yes. The DS will not keep its sales levels due to the 3DS, and personally I think the impact on DS sales will be pretty big. Pricing wise they are not targetting the same disposable income bracket but product wise they are goign after the same consumer. They can coexist but sales will not compound.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 10 years ago
Actually, I'd say that, unless we see some DSi price drops soon, they're pretty close to the same. The 3DS will settle at something just under 25,000 once the initial spike is through, and the DSi has been holding steady at 15,000 for some time now. 10,000 yen is not a huge amount of money in Japan (given the way DS game prices have been staying high here, it's only two or three DS games), and someone that sensitive is likely enough to go for a used unit anyway.

My guess would be that, once there's an abundant supply of 3DSs, either DSi sales (excepting the LL) will fall though the floor, or the price will come down to something more like 9,950 if they're going to keep it around.
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