3DS launches in Japan with long queues and small stocks

Saturday, 26th February 2011 08:34 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Nintendo’s 3DS has launched in Japan, with long lines and a deluge of media reports heralding the arrival of Nintendo’s next gen handheld.


First announced in March 2010 and the successor to the hugely successful DS.

Allows play with glassless 3D.

Western launch details announced in Holland and New York in January.

Q&A – 3DS

Lines of up to 750 people waited in Tokyo’s Akihabara district to get a chance at securing an anorexic retail allocation: the huge majority of Japan’s launch units had already been bought by pre-order.

Some large stores were given tiny amounts of stock, and people queued for over 24 hours to buy.

Nikkei (via Andriasang) reports Japanese retailers received only 400,000 units in total, although a second shipment arrived in stores the following day.

The Japanese console’s released alongside Pro Evolution Soccer 3DS, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Samurai Warriors: Chronicles, Bust-a-Move Universe, Nintendogs + Cats, Ridge Racer 3D, Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D, and Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle.

A swell of photo and video reports has emerged overnight, showing apparently keen interest for Nintendo’s next foray into handheld hardware.

Despite initial optimism, though, analysts are already cooling on the machine’s chances thanks to the proliferation of smartphones in recent years.

“Nintendo’s competitive advantage is that they develop both hardware and software. I don’t think you will see a change to Nintendo strategy longer term, but because of smartphones they will not see the same growth they once had,” David Gibson, head of equity research at Macquarie Securities in Tokyo, told Reuters.

Nintendo expects to sell at least 4 million 3DS units in the five weeks to March 31. The original DS had sold 145 million units worldwide as of December last year.

Kotaku’s photo-based launch report.

“Of course it will be difficult to sell more than the DS in Japan or other developed countries,” said analyst Shun Tanaka of SMBC Friend Research Center.

“But if they market it in regions like South America and Asia, it may eventually sell even more than the DS,” he said.

3DS machine went on sale in Japan at ¥25,000.

It’s to launch in Europe on March 25 at roughly €250, followed by the American release on March 27 at $249.99.

3DS hits Australia on March 31 for AU$349.95.

Gamespot published a long program on the launch, which you can watch below:

Destructiod has posted a video showing the Augmented Reality cards in action, embedded below, along with a demonstration of AR Miis and a massive image dump of messing around with Nintendogs + Cats AR features.

Others have added videos of Street Pass in action, and 3D drawing application Graffiti.



  1. xino

    Patrick please ban this idiot troll Crysis

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Crysis

    JB has it for $298 in Australia, I believe the actual retail price is $299 but EB & GAME are being greedy by charging a further $50.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Crysis

    What? Where have I trolled? quote me on it.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Toastrules

    I was in Akihabara earlier today…

    Oh. My. God.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Patrick Garratt

    @4 – Busy?

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    @toast, it’s Akihabara, what you expect?


    #6 4 years ago
  7. themadjock

    I had a pre-order in for one on but after trying them on the tour I found the 3D effect too weak and too easily lost by movement of head or hands. Definately try before you buy people

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Crysis

    Love Japan, in DST (as it is right now) they’re only 30 mins in front of us central Aussies & in regular time they’re on 30 mins behind, no thinking needed to work out how far in front/behind they are :D
    Probably also our second closest developed country (after New Zealand).

    #8 4 years ago
  9. datamonkey

    I was very impressed with my first hands-on in HMV (Bluewater) yesterday. Unfortunately there were no games on show other than the pre-installed stuff but I’m definitely more excited about it than I was before.

    Can’t wait for this and NGP…

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Bond James Bond

    Why? The launch line-up is complete n’ utter pish.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Crysis

    @10, Well millions of others will disagree (I personally don’t), point is your opinion isn’t fact.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Dralen

    Hmmm I was expecting it to look flashier somehow.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Bond James Bond


    Point is, i didn’t say it was a fact. It’s my opinion. Period. There’s a difference you know!

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Toastrules

    @5 Yes, Akihabara is normally busy in general, but today there were lines EVERYWHERE. Poor saps didn’t know that the 3DS’s ran out at like 8 in the morning, it was sad really =(

    I just came there to return a computer case fan, so thankfully I didn’t have to penetrate any sort of insane lines.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. SOMI

    I rather have cancer than play this crap, true gamers will wait for the proper gaming hand held, the Sony NGP.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Toastrules

    In retrospect, that Kamen Rider thing that @6 was talking about prob had something to do with it..

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Suikoden Fan

    @15 true gamers huh? nah, true gamers play on any system without misconceived notions of loyalty.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Michael O’Connor

    @15 Ignore him. He’s just trolling for kicks.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Suikoden Fan

    @18 i’m not surprised, whie we only have a few the trolls we have here are rather insistent.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Michael O’Connor

    @19 I frankly wouldn’t be surprised if they’re just one person with multiple accounts.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Suikoden Fan

    @20 i guess Pat could IP check to see if thats the case

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Crysis

    @Suikoden Fan, He was the one preying for Miyamoto to die, don’t listen to a single word he says, he hates Nintendo with a burning passion.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. tmac2011

    idk. i was never into the DS people seem to be nuts for them

    #23 4 years ago
  24. omnomnom2k10

    @yeah if there is anyone that should be banned, it’s SOMI.

    Might pick one up when it comes out here. I’ll have to try it first though.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. lexph3re

    I use to go crazy over these thing. But, after a while I realised how limited it was to my taste. So I’m back to waiting on nintendo for they’re next big move.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Crysis

    Nintendo 3DS: do’s and don’ts. Mainly don’ts:

    #26 4 years ago
  27. DrDamn

    I tried one in HMV today. The sample stuff is largely awful – no proper games just camera and augmented reality stuff. The AR stuff was a lot more impressive than the 3D which I was decidedly underwhelmed by. Too fussy on position and terrible looking when it loses it. I’d like to try it again under better conditions but not been impressed so far. Also the only game there was to try was a camera mini game which involved moving the machine around – I mean really? You are constantly losing the 3D effect. Stupid idea given the machines limitations.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. bpcgos

    usually (in my younger age) I was very excited with this kind of news from japan (wish I could be there and followed the queue, take a walk in akihabara, etc). But , after gaming world seems like shifting toward our western companion, it just didn’t interesting anymore and looks very old fashioned(come on, no online store in japan? or download service for the software, maybe?It just doesnt make sense spending your day in the street).yeah, it’s all just for me at least.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. ManuOtaku

    @15 i know you are just dead inside knowing that a not current gen console like the wii, “a not proper gaming console”, its winning the current gen consoles war, and also on the handled department the Ds is doing the same thing , so i will send you an invitation to join nintendo minnions, just to be on the winners side. 8D

    #29 4 years ago

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