3D by the thousands

So, the Nintendo 3DS. The latest iteration, after the DS, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color and Game Boy before it, of Nintendo's portable range, which over the years has become the reliable bedrock its whole business is built upon. A big, in other words, deal.

But while the success of previous Nintendo consoles was all but guaranteed, no-one was sure about this one. After all, for the first time ever, millions of casual gamers are now carrying around powerful gaming devices in their pockets - in the form of iPhones and Android smartphones. Would Nintendo's new console, which costs several hundred dollars, get people believing in the idea of a standalone portable console again?

Well, it's early days, but the answer appears to be 'yes'. Nintendo has just released its US sales figure for the 3DS' first week, and it's a very respectable 400,000. To put that in perspective, that's a similar number to those shifted by the original DS in the first month.

Now, in fairness, the DS was a famously slow burn - nobody quite knew what to make of it, and the initial hardware looked like a cheap toy. It was only when the much nicer DS Lite was introduced, and games like Brain Training caught on with non-hardcore gamers, that it became a smash hit. But still, it never hurts to start from a high base, and these figures are super-good news for the 3DS' long-term prospects.

In many ways, the biggest threat to the 3DS might be the DS itself. It's still on sale, and for a chunk less than its new 3D cousin. Casual gamers may well still pick up the cheaper option as long as it's available. Nintendo will be hoping the 3D effect seems enough of a family-friendly draw to convince casual gamers to shell out the extra green.

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2022