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March NPD: 3DS launch-o-rama

Sales-o-facts in NPD's first monthly report since the Nintendo 3DS launched include word that the handheld was out-sold by regular DSs.


Market research firm has issued its latest monthly retail-only sales report, covering February 27 through April 2--the first since the Nintendo 3DS handheld launched in March. As ever, console manufacturers have come out of the woodwork to support the report with figures and marketing spin.

Nintendo relays that the 3DS sold "just shy of 400,000 units" in the US within its first seven days of sale after launching on March 27. This falls slightly short of the regular Nintendo DS models, which combined sold 460,000 units.

NPD points out that the 3DS managed around 100,000 units fewer than the Nintendo DS sold in a similar launch period, though the higher price means the 3DS came out on top in terms of revenue generated.

The 3DS and DS sales lead to the best-selling March in US history for Nintendo's portable hardware business, the company said. The best selling March, eh? A laudable accomplishment, to be sure.

The Nintendo 3DS also shifted more software units than the DS managed in its first month, in spite of selling fewer handhelds. Of all the 3DS launch titles, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition sold the most, but not enough to break into the multi-platform top 10.

Nintendo also boasted of Pokemon White and Pokemon Black topping the multi-platform chart, with sales of 1.3 million and 1.1 million units respectively.

Microsoft's own boast was that the Xbox 360 was once again the best-selling console of the month, selling 430,000 units--an increase of 28% year over year. Apparently, this is "the largest growth of any current generation console on the market."

Sony, for its part, claims that the PlayStation 3 has now shipped over 50 million units worldwide, and the PlayStation Move has shipped more than 8 million units.

NPD notes that the total consumer spend is essentially the same as it was during this period last year, with a rise in digital products making up for a slight decline in retail physical antiquities. While NPD's data has grown increasingly less complete as digital distribution, downloadable content, subscription fees and other models have spread throughout video games, the firm recognises this shortcoming and plans to report digital sales too. Perhaps to this end, NPD recently acquired a firm specialising in tracking digital entertainment.

Onto the retail chart, where Homefront was the best-selling non-Pokemon game, Dragon Age II did well, Cod Blops hung tough, and Crysis 2 put in a respectable showing. Here's the list:

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 15, 2011 11:45 AM

    Comment on March NPD: 3DS launch-o-rama, by Alice O'Connor.

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 11:51 AM

      All in all it appears to be about what I expected, large number of 3DS moved without breaking the regular DS because of cost.

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        April 15, 2011 1:22 PM

        I wonder if they put the 3DS @ $250 so they could sell Super Wii @ $350 without it looking crazy expensive.

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          April 18, 2011 7:26 AM

          Right, because Sony and Microsoft haven't already set the bar high for overpriced electronics...

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      April 15, 2011 12:58 PM

      Remember guys, Nintendo is fucked.

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        April 15, 2011 1:15 PM

        Totally missed the paradigm-shift. RIP Nintendo.

    • reply
      April 16, 2011 8:59 AM

      I wish we would stop using "Shipped to Retailers" numbers, because it dosent give accurate representation of real world sales. Why do I care how many consoles the retailers have?

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      April 16, 2011 2:17 PM

      I think the problem is that everyone goes to the same schools, and all the media, books, assignments, videos, etc, are all in 2D. People have no 3D sense of spatial awareness, and most people do nothing outside of flat paperwork, which often includes flat 3d representative graphics that everyone is more familiar with. In addition, using 3D requires being able to rapidly focus your eyes on moving targets, a skill that is rare outside of sports and military applications. I personally love it, it makes the games like a window into a real 3d environment instead of a more abstract representation of the same, and in tournaments in gun games I would frequently close one eye and tilt my head to the right to make the graphics look more 'real', like I was fighting down an eye with that disadvantage. The noscope/aim code works better in 3D and is mostly mandatory, although the laser aim reticule that I don't use probably works as good as the 2d crosshair.....also I'm on nvidia 3d vision not 3ds, and mostly playing gun games, mostly left 4 dead 2, and some others including sf4 and bc2. It also seems to impart a spatial recognition in normal real 3d environments, an example is when I open my car engine after using the 3d vision for a long time, it's easier for me to trace hidden wires without a diagram through the 3d interior by focusing my eyes along the visible and estimated path, like tracing a bullet off towards the horizion in left 4 dead 2 and watching it impact all the zombie pieces along the way, this requires fast eyeball focusing a rare skill that requires eyeball energy like a muscle, and is useful for tracking hi-speed objects like ducks, cars, or simply finding people or things in any 3d (real) environment. Also looking out the window with the glasses on makes the world kind of look like a game, redrawing at 120 fps with it's grainyness imparted by the glasses. :)

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