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DSi sales hampered by lack of software

Chip's MD, Don McCabe, says some consumers are resistant to committing to the new handheld

Consumer demand for the new Nintendo DSi is being hampered by a lack of unique software for the handheld, according Don McCabe, managing director of the UK independent retailer Chips.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, McCabe explained that the retailer sold out of DSi stock, mostly through pre-orders, however, free units were more difficult to sell than expected.

"We did get a couple of cancellations where people moved from deal to deal," he said, adding: "There's a few [retailers] that obviously didn't sell everything that they needed to and so consequently started doing a few deals, which was a bit irksome

"The ones that were cancelled, we weren't getting much interest in. It's a bit of a strange one really... because the feeling we get from customers is that they don't know exactly why they should buy it. It feels a bit PSPish - its got these capabilities, but you just don't see an app for it as such at the moment."

He continued: "I think it has sold because people love Nintendo, they think that anything that Nintendo does is good, I think people bought it but not knowing why they bought it.

"As far as the independent sector goes we were very tightly allocated, there wasn't a shed load of stock out there. But in some respects I think that wasn't too bad a thing, because had we been in a situation where we could buy freely I think I'd be sat on stock now."

McCabe said he had no doubt that the handheld would sell out for the immediate future, but it was the long term success that he was interested in. However, he also expressed his concerns that the Nintendo DSi Shop would impact on retailers.

"One of the things you've got to be very careful of is the applications store. If you flog a DSi and nobody ever comes back to buy a game but just buys them through the DSi applications store then you've effectively given your customers away.

"I thought it was quite cunning that Nintendo didn't actually roll out their DSi store until after the launch," he said, concluding: "It's a cautious approach on the DSi at the moment."

Figures provided by Chart-Track show that the DSi sold 92,000 units in its first two days on sale.

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