Analysts falsely predicted that the 3DS would sell between 500,000 and 750,000 individual units. Granted, those numbers were the direct result of the hype and preorders for the system, but the 3DS managed to sell only 380,000–impressive, but still far below expectations.
According to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, the 3DS was never supposed to sell out. The Nintendo boss turned internet meme stated that sufficient 3DS systems were manufactured so that demand could be met, with a few thousand spare handhelds left over just in case. “I would characterize it as a launch where we learned significant lessons from the launch of Wii and we made sure to have not only ample supply in the marketplace, but we staged supply so it would not sell out,” Fils-Aime told USA Today. “We had product going direct to store and we also had product in retailers (distribution centers), so they could easily replenish when they had stores running low on inventory.”
According to the Reginator, Nintendo is very comfortable with the initial sales of the 3DS, and no concern over a shortage is a definite plus. “Obviously, a sell through of 400,000 units in one week is exceptional,” emphasized the Nintendo of America president. “And the fact that we achieved that without people being worried about massive stockouts and shortages just underscored how we properly executed our supply chain.”
Excessive stock or no, 400,000 units is a lot of hardware and a lot of revenue. Whether or not Nintendo hoped for these numbers is up for debate, and many out there may argue that the company wants to cover up their failure. In hindsight, the game’s launch library might have been influential to purchases, as well as the launch of Pokemon Black and White for the original DS.
What do you think? Is the 3DS manufacturer trying to hide the fact that the 3DS didn’t sell as hoped? With a whopping estimate of 400,000 units sold on launch week, is there even anything to cover up? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.