APRIL 14, 2011 • Nintendo Co. Ltd. Reported that after four days of release, its new Australia 3DS platform was the fastest selling handheld in the country’s history, moving 31,000 units. The best console launch previously was the Wii in 2006, which sold 32,000 units during its first week on sale. In the U.S., Nintendo reported for the month of March that the DS sold 460,000 units, while 3DS sold 400,000, and the Wii sold 290,000.
Impact: Unlike many Nintendo system launches there was plenty of supply with the 3DS. Of course, this means that Nintendo 3DS sales were actually reported as a disappointment because there was plenty of stock and sales tapered off after the first week. The reality is the 3DS was an expensive system launching in March with very limited software support. Nintendo had created surprisingly high expectations for the system and was really setting itself up to fall short of goals in the short term. Portable systems tend to build sales steadily over a period of time. With the 3DS it is really about getting some software that make the system a must have for consumers.