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3DS Sells Out, But More Stock on the Way

Nintendo and retailers continue to push system through demo events.

The Yamada Denki Labi shop in Shinjuku had closed off its line by the time we arrived at 8:00.

3DS sold out pretty much instantly throughout Tokyo following its release. But those who still want a system may not have to wait long.

As we reported in our mobile blog coverage, the system had a mix of pre-order only sales and same-day sales. Some shops that are known for drawing lines in the thousands on launch days, including the Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku and the Bic Cameras in Yurakucho and Ikebukuro, went the pre-order only route, and ended up having a relatively quiet launch day. (Although Yodobashi Shinjuku was visited by a comedian named Megwin who dressed up like a 3DS). These shops opened about an hour early so that pre-orderers could pick up their unit a bit in advance.

Shops that did offer same day sales in many cases did not disclose this fact until just before closing the night before. The Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara is the most high profile example. This shop had a line of 200 by midnight, growing to between 500 and 600 by 7:45. As reported at various Japanese sites, the shop had 1,000 units for same day sales, equal to the 1,000 units it had sold to pre-order. By 9:30, clerks were announcing that the system was sold out.

Other shops, like the various Yamada Denki Labi electronics shops, had warned in advance that they'd be same-day sales only. Not surprisingly, lines formed early for these shops. The Shinjuku Labi had closed off its line by the time we arrived at 8:00. The Ikebukuro Labi had 400 people by 6AM. It stopped distributing pre-order tickets at the 600 mark, then for some reason restarted again until it reached the 900 mark.

We found an open line at the smaller profile Shibuya Labi. This line continued to grow quickly before clerks let the first buyers in about an hour before the shop's standard 10:00 opening time. By noon, the shop still had a bit of stock left, but these systems were gone later in the day.

Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara saw over 1,000 people line up in a line that stretched around the building. This shop was sold out by 9:30.

It does look like the 3DS is sold out throughout Japan, and will likely stay that way until Nintendo's next shipment. That shipment won't be too far off, though. As we toured Tokyo Saturday evening in search of sold-out signs, we found that Shibuya's famous Tsutaya outlet was accepting pre-orders for a shipment that will arrive Sunday morning.

Tsutaya was also hosting a demo event that mimicked past 3DS demo events in that the systems were attached to companion girls and interested parties could view just a quick video to get a feel for the system's 3D effect. Those who wanted to actually play could go to the shop's games floor, where a large demo area had been set up with four playable titles. These demo areas have been appearing at major shops over the past couple of weeks. Following the system's availability, additional shops began setting up such areas for sampling the system.

A demo event at Tsutaya on a crowded Saturday evening in Shibuya. The shop suddenly announced that it had a new shipment on the way for Sunday.

The 3DS launched with eight games: Nintendogs + cats, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Combat of Giants Dinosaur 3D, Ridge Racer 3D, Samurai Warriors Chronicle, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Winning Eleven 3D and Puzzle Bobble 3D. Staff at Yodobashi Akihabara told Famitsu.com that Layton, Ridge Racer, Winning Eleven and Street Fighter were particularly popular.

The 3DS launch lineup.

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