updated 05:50 pm EDT, Tue March 29, 2011
Nintendo 3DS sets undefined day-one sales record
Nintendo told the media that the 3DS launch had set a company record for first-day sales. In trying to dampen concerns over the black screen of death, it said the sales were the "highest of any Nintendo hand-held system in our history" and that problems were "well below" usual hardware launches. More details would come on April 14, it said.
Breaking the sales record wouldn't necessarily be difficult for Nintendo. The company moved 136,500 DS Lite systems in the US for June 2006 and sold 300,000 DSi systems for the country in April 2009. Both were minor revisions of the 2004-era handheld where the 3DS is Nintendo's first truly new hardware and has both a new processor and its namesake glasses-free 3D display.
The Japanese firm is also facing pent-up demand and pressure from Apple and smartphone makers. Its US sales dropped about 800,000 units from year to year, credited partly to its decision to move the 3DS past the holidays but also due to iPod touch and iPhone gaming. Apple shipped 19.45 million iPods worldwide during the period, the gaming-capable iPod touch usually being the best-selling model and particularly popular in the US.
Android may have also had an impact but hasn't had its impact quantified.
Attitudes at Nintendo have changed and may have seen Apple directly impact its console design. Although it at first glossed over the effect, it eventually began to attack Apple directly and has made Internet play a much stronger component. On the 3DS, users now get cross-game friend codes as well as automatic game updates and even Street Pass, a feature that lets nearby 3DS systems automatically 'play' each other or exchange data. [via Shacknews]