Nintendo is happy the 3DS didn't completely sell out, because that's the way it planned the handheld's launch.
Success is measured in many different ways. A successful product is often one that sells out of its initial print run and remains tough to get for the coming weeks or months because of high demand. Though consumers can easily waltz into their nearby videogame or electronics store and purchase a Nintendo 3DS in North America just two weeks after release, Nintendo still considers it a success.
Comparatively, the Nintendo Wii was sold out for years. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told USA Today he's actually glad that the 3DS didn't pull a Wii-peat, because it means Nintendo achieved its launch goals.
Fils-Aime said he is "satisfied" with the approximately 400,000 launch week sales of the 3DS in North America, and he's looking forward to the system's momentum going into the future. As for why the system is still available, Fils-Aime said: "We staged supply so it would not sell out."
"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," he revealed. "That strategy is why you didn't see massive sellouts on Nintendo 3DS. Obviously, a sell-through of 400,000 units in one week is exceptional. 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."
The strategy with the 3DS was reportedly influenced by the issues consumers faced trying to purchase a Wii through somewhere around 2008 or 2009. The Wii sold approximately 600,000 units in its launch week.
The true test for the 3DS is to see if it'll keep selling well. With big titles like Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D not due out until June, it certainly has potential to keep acquiring new customers.
Source: USA Today