iSuppli: Nintendo to sell 11.6 million 3DS units worldwide this year

iSuppli: Nintendo to sell 11.6 million 3DS units worldwide this year

Summary: Earlier this year, Nintendo expected to sell 1.5 million units of the 3DS within the first 30 days of the launch in Japan.

SHARE:

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?

Related coverage on ZDNet:

Topic: Enterprise Software

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: iSuppli: Nintendo to sell 11.6 million 3DS units worldwide this year

    I've already got my 3DS, and I enjoy the 3D a whole lot. However, I mostly got it for the games that aren't out yet: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, and Kid Icarus: Uprising. All of those make it absolutely worthwhile for me to make sure I already have the system before they come out. I'm really looking forward to playing them.
    guardianmega
  • RE: iSuppli: Nintendo to sell 11.6 million 3DS units worldwide this year

    Well of course it's a toy, what else were you thinking it would be? It's a gaming platform. Most of the people I've talked to (myself included) are holding out on the 3DS not because of price or because it's got some cool technology, but because the game library is woefully inadequate at this point, consisting mostly of remakes and the like. Give it some time to build up a decent library and sales will go up.
    Aerowind
  • I'm with the other two

    I think the problem isn't the price, or perhaps far less so than might be imagined, but the lack of games at launch. A few months ago we thought Kid Icarus and Zelda would be launch titles, at the very least. If I bought it today I'd get Street Fighter and that's it. I'll probably get it around Christmas when Kart, Zelda, Kid Icarus and Metal Gear are all out. I think if they had the original launch line up over a million would have been easy.

    You also can't forget the impact the quake and tsunami would have had on Japanese sales.
    LiquidLearner