Nintendo definitely moved a lot of 3DS XL units during the system’s Japanese launch, as the first two days of sales saw over 193,000 units sold alongside New Super Mario Bros. 2, which netted more than 400,000 copies itself. Since Nintendo generally releases games and software on Saturdays, a full week of sales have yet to be tallied.
At first glance, the numbers look pretty good, but proper context shows where the 3DS XL really falls.
Here’s a quick round-up of all the “first week” Japan sales for all of Nintendo’s DS launches and revisions:
- Nintendo 3DS XL — 193,000 units (July 2012)
- Nintendo 3DS — 400,000 units (March 2011)
- Nintendo DSi XL — 100,000 (November 2009)
- Nintendo DSi — 170,000 units (November 2008)
- Nintendo DS Lite — 67,000 units (March 2006)
- Nintendo DS — 441,000 units (December 2004)
By now, it’s common knowledge to most consumers and Nintendo fans that buying the first round of hardware isn’t always the best way to go, as the Big N usually has a better version of their new handhelds right around the corner. To that end, the 3DS XL has had the best turnaround, selling almost half of what the original 3DS did in its own Japan launch.
(Although, it’s interesting to note that the DSi XL sold more than half of what the DSi did in its first week. ‘Larger ratio, but a lesser total tally.)
Maybe everyone wised up and realized that it was better to wait for the second model. If that’s the case, one can only wonder how many people in North American and PAL regions have been sitting out of the 3DS hype so far.