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Retailers evasive on 3DS UK launch

Level of success still unclear as Nintendo fails to provide sales figures

Although Nintendo of America has claimed record day one sales for the 3DS, it is still unclear how the new format has fared in the UK - with rumours continuing that it has performed below expectations.

Despite talk of pre-orders exceeding 140,000 consoles in the UK, and potential sales prediction of as much as 200,000, Nintendo UK has still failed to release any new information regarding the March 25 launch.

The impact on 3DS software on the most recent UK sales chart was relatively minimal, and the queues for the launch appeared, on anecdotal evidence, to be lower than expected - perhaps affected by the launch of the iPad 2 on the same day.

By fulfilling pre-orders alone, the 3DS should have beaten the DSi opening weekend sales of 92,000 units - the UK's fourth fastest-selling console. Nintendo indicated prior to launch that shelf stock would be "well in excess" of pre-orders

However, an investigation by sister site Eurogamer has seen a mixed response from retailers, when questioned over the success of the launch.

"The 3DS has been huge for us," ASDA told Eurogamer. "In fact, it was our biggest ever format launch, driven by really strong online sales and our a fantastically-priced opening bundle."

"It's certainly among our fastest ever selling consoles," HMV added, "but still a little too early to give a final figure/view."

"The category manager tells me that the Sony PS3 [launch] was the biggest for us," Currys explained to Eurogamer, "and maybe even further back Sony PS2. "The 3DS is the biggest Nintendo one for us, though."

"The 3DS hasn't actually been our fastest ever selling console, yet, anyway," said Sainsbury's.

"As a company we do not release info on sales or statistics so cannot disclose this answer," Toys R Us began. "However, I can tell you that we have not sold out."

"As in previous years," GAME told Eurogamer, "we're not able to talk about the results of a console launch until our next trading update. For this period, that will be 27th April."

"The simple answer is that yes, the 3DS will have been the quickest selling by a country mile," declared Morrisons to Eurogamer.

"That's mainly because we had a pre-order system for the first time which allowed us to get much more stock than we would have got under previous circumstances, and also incentivised customers to come in and buy it on the day of or day after release."

"Sorry, not prepared to share numbers but we had an extremely good share of the supermarket sector, Nintendo have said we were number two."

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Robert Purchese avatar

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.