Although Nintendo’s 3DS just hit store shelves, the video game industry is busy analysing every piece of information that could shed some light on how well the $250 handheld performed this past weekend.
Make no mistake, we expect Nintendo 3DS to sell millions of units to an eager public, but the launch didn’t go off without a hitch.
What we know so far:
There were no real lines of note: GameStop stores opened across the country at midnight, March 27, but gamers didn’t show up in huge numbers.
The one big line was at Best Buy, located at Union Square in NYC, and it was short-lived. Some blamed the cold weather, but the official launch line was smaller than we expected, especially after the more impressive iPad 2 launch earlier this month. (If you attended a launch event with a long line, sound off in the comments.
Nintendo 3DS was not a trending topic on Twitter at launch: Like it or not, Twitter is a gauge of how buzz worthy a product release is, and Nintendo’s platform didn’t make the cut.
Nintendo 3DS consoles are #3 and #4 in Amazon’s sales chart: This is actually a strong showing, and Nintendo 3DS games occupy the #1 and #2 slots, respectively.
A Nintendo first-party game is not #1: That honour belongs to Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, published by Capcom.
Nintendo first-party launch titles show weakness: Pilotwings makes a respectable showing at #2 on Amazon, but Steel Diver is #30, and the top placement for a version of Nintendogs + Cats is #33.
Third parties show strength: Who would have thought third-party games would have a stronger showing than two thirds of Nintendo’s lineup? Rayman 3D, Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars 3D, Ridge Racer 3DS, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Shadow Wars and the aforementioned Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition all came out ahead of Nintendogs + Cats and Steel Diver.
You can still get one: Unlike iPad 2, which you still can’t find after weeks at retail, our informal survey of several Gamestops, Best Buys and Targets in the New York/New Jersey area showed availability at all but two stores. One of the stores in Woodbridge, NJ had 20 units on hand this morning. It is too early to make any long-term judgments about the Nintendo 3DS, and we’re very pleased as consumers. That said, we await official numbers to see if Nintendo had a slow start, and whether this represents a possible shift in the video game market.
How was the Nintendo 3DS launch in your area? Sound off in the comments.
Feature: Did Nintendo Sabotage 3DS With Pokemon Black And White?
One man’s 3DS launch experience…