Earlier this year, Nintendo expected to sell 1.5 million units of the 3DS within the first 30 days of the launch in Japan. Given how well sales are going, research firm IHS iSuppli is predicting big sales numbers for the year overall.
Although it's not expected to achieve as outstanding sales figures as its predecessors, iSuppli predicts that Nintendo will sell at least 11.6 million of the 3D-enabled handheld gaming console worldwide by the end of 2011.
However, there's still a debate about how well the 3DS has actually sold. A few days ago, it was reported that 836,000 units have been sold since the end of February, and today a 500,000-mark is floating around. Those are still very high numbers considering this is a rather expensive portable gadget (you could get a Wii or Xbox 360 for $50 less or pay $50 more for a PlayStation 3). Perhaps 1.5 million was just too ambitious.
We'll all know the truth once NPD releases numbers by the end of the week. Nevertheless, Nintendo has already come out and said that sales on the U.S. launch day (March 27) were the highest for any Nintendo handheld console ever. Given that Nintendo didn't provide any numbers at that time, it could be a PR spin.
However, some of the reasons it might not sell as well as the DS or the DS Lite could include the $250 price tag and the lack of 3D content (a huge problem with 3D consumer technology in general) that doesn't justify paying a high price for a handheld console. Sure, it has Netflix - but what doesn't these days? There's also the ongoing debate about whether or not using the 3DS will have any effect on children's developing eyesight. While preteens and teenage gamers are going to be the bigger draw, this is still a toy - albeit a very fancy toy.
Have you bought a Nintendo 3DS? If not, are you planning to buy one this year?
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