The fact that Nintendo’s 3D handheld console sold out immediately when it launched over the weekend in Japan shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. The Japanese are both very loyal to their own and love nothing more than joining a queue at some ungodly hour to get the latest and greatest gadget.
Toyohisa Ishihara was the proud owner of the first 3DS that went on sale in Toyko on Saturday, but within a short time all 400,000 launch units had been snapped up and many in the queues were left forlorn as empty shelves greeted them by the time they reached the shops. Due to the ability to pre-order the 3DS prior to launch, the clamor for the handheld devices was less intense compared to previous launches of products such as the Wii and the original DS. Nintendo was preparing more shipments of the 3DS last night but would not say how many more units would be available in Japan.
Previously Nintendo has said it would be making 1.5 million units available in its homeland by the end of March - out of a total of 4 million that would be available worldwide. The 3DS launches here in the Europe on March 25 with the devices going on sale in the United States the following day. While the price for the US has been set at $249.99, no RRP has been announced for the UK or Europe, however some retailers are pre-selling the device for a penny less than £200 at the moment.
Once the 3DS launches here and across the Atlantic, there are likely to be shortages similar to those seen in Japan. Nintendo has announced that 13 games will go on sale on March 25 including Super Street Fighter IV 3D, Splinter Cell 3D and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D. We will have to wait and see what happens on March 25, but is there anyone out there planning on queuing up overnight, or have all the units been snapped up on pre-order already?