Let the Japanese market serve as an example and do your best to pre-order a 3DS if you want one on launch. Andriasang posted up a story that linked to the reports of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun which indicate that the 400,000 Nintendo 3DS handhelds that shipped to retail locations across Japan have basically sold out.
Nintendo is expected to ship more than 4 million units worldwide by the end of this March, but Japanese sales reports suggest that the system will almost certainly see shortages. Not for lack of proper production, but by the shear massive size of demand for the hardware.
Those among us have cited Nintendo’s launch lineup as a potential reason to hold off on rushing out and picking up the handheld. As we reported officially last week, the North American first-party titles coming from the Big N at launch are Pilotwings: Resort, Nintendogs + cats and Steel Diver. We asked for your thoughts in the comments section of that story, and stories before it, and quite a few of you told us that you were waiting for bigger titles to drop before you headed out to snag the system.
That said, do these early numbers suggest that we can expected the same type of hardware shortage that we saw with the Wii. That console was hard to come by for nearly six months after its launch. As a point of reference, the Wii sold more than 370,000 units in Japan during the first two days that followed launch. If this 3DS sales report is true, the 3DS more than doubled the initial sales rate of the the Nintendo Wii.
For those out there that have been resisting the urge to pre-order the 3DS, has this report done anything to reinforce your desire to hit your nearest retailer and call dibs on your hardware?