If Amazon U.K.’s pre-orders are any indication of what’s to come, the Nintendo 3DS could be as big of a hit as it was in Japan when it launched in February of 2010. On its Twitter account Thursday, Amazon UK said that the Nintendo DS has become the most pre-ordered console ever. U.K. residents interested in buying the device can purchase it for £187 ($381 USD). The Nintendo 3DS will launch in the United States on March 27th for $249.99. As its name suggests, the 3DS offers a 3D display, and games are backward-compatible with previous Nintendo DS and DSi titles. More →
The first quarter of 2008 was rough on the typically hardy gaming industry but following a 17 percent decline in overall sales, there is a bright spot for one of the big three console companies as Q2 kicks off. Obviously, that company is Nintendo. Sure the Wii is still leading the pack when it comes to stationary consoles but the big news earlier this month was the arrival of the company’s latest portable gaming console, the Nintendo DSi. A substantial update from its little cousin the DS Lite, Nintendo’s DSi has been available in Japan for quite some time and finally made it to US shores last week. In its first full week of sales, Nintendo reports the handheld sold a remarkable 435,000 units. To put that in perspective, Nintendo moved just over 226,000 DS Lites in its first week of US availability. Bigger screens, dual cameras and a handful of photo manipulation tools highlighted in Nintendo’s supporting ad run apparently add up to big success. The NPD Group reports that Nintendo accounted for nearly 59 percent of all video game hardware sold in March — thanks to the DSi, expect that number to climb in April.
It seems like we’re nearing a point in time when a handheld manufacturer that doesn’t have an app store of some kind will be bigger news than a company that does. The apparent next in line for some app store love — Nintendo. Develop is reporting that the gaming giant is calling out to third party developers in an effort to push non-game content through its on-device portal, DSiWare. This past week at the Nintendo Developer Conference in London, Nintendo is said to have been out in full force in an effort to encourage developers in attendance to start thinking about various applications that might be hocked in its virtual shop. One developer had this to say:
Given the advanced functions in the DSi, such as the microphone and camera, the company told us that there are a variety of opportunities for a variety of apps, both in a games sense and a non-games sense, that we could offer.
And why not? Nintendo’s handheld sales are still through the roof despite tumultuous economic times and with so many handhelds in the hands of the public, adding another source of post-sale revenue beyond game titles is a logical progression. As has become painfully obvious over the past year, on device portals make it oh so easy for customers to spend money and Nintendo would be remiss if it didn’t capitalize on the trend. Parents, guard your wallets.