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Let's Explore 3DS Software Sales

Which did better out the gate, the DS or the 3DS? You won't find the answer here!

This Yodobashi Camera in Yokohama had a sold out and no pre-order sign the day after launch. Many major shops received new shipments that day, but from what we could observe, these sold out the same day.

Media Create and ASCII have shared sales stats for the week of the 3DS release, allowing us to pick up on a few bits and pieces about the launch.

As detailed here earlier in the week, Media Create reported first week sales for 3DS as 374,764 units. The 3DS was released on a Saturday, so this just covers two days of sales.

On the software front, Media Create reported the following:

  • 3rd Place -- Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask: 119,591 units
  • 5th Place -- Nintendogs + Cats: 64,213 units
  • 6th Place -- Samurai Warriors Chronicle: 49,327 units
  • 7th Place -- Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition: 44,649 units
  • 8th Place -- Ridge Racer 3D: 38,226 units
  • 15th Place -- Winning Eleven 3D: 24,556 units

(The "place" numbers are overall placement on the weekly sales chart.)

Two launch titles did not place in the top 20, but Media Create's full ranking page lists Puzzle Bobble 3D in 25th place and Combat of Giants: Dinosaur 3D in 28th place.

ASCII's figures, viewable at Dengeki Online, are pretty similar to Media Create's. ASCII breaks down multi-sku titles like Nintendogs into individual SKUs, though. Shiba & New Friends was the best selling version with 31,153 units. Dengeki did not share specific figures for the other two versions, but the total Nintendogs + Cats sales figure was 68,000 units.

The 3DS software to hardware attach rate according to Media Create was was 0.95 -- that is for every 3DS unit sold, 0.95 games were sold. Considering that many buyers buy more than one game, this means that a good number of systems were sold without software. The figure is even lower at ASCII -- 0.88 games for every system.

While it's very likely that resellers drove the software attach rate down (we observed a few obvious cases of resellers in our lines), ASCII also notes that the system includes much in the way of built in software, possibly giving players a reason to not buy a launch games.

The original DS outperformed the 3DS at launch, although the DS did launch on a Thursday (December 2, 2004) so it had a couple of additional days sales. Total first week sales (Thursday through Sunday) for the DS were 469,000 units according to Media Create. DS had stronger software performance, with Nintendo's Super Mario 64 selling 151,000 and Made in Wario selling 149,000 units. DS had a software attach rate of 1.04 games to every system.

The slower initial start for the 3DS could, as mentioned, have to do with having two less days of sales. The 3DS was also harder to find at retail, as even though there were some "unexpected" sudden shipments, these were in most cases not publicized in advance. Most retailers that we visited in advance of the launch told us pre-order only, even though they ended up getting units on launch day or the day after.

A better indicator of how the 3DS is performing compared to the DS will come next week.

In other sales news, Media Create reports a low 56.55% sell through for Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity. This is despite the game having placed first in the charts, with 207,000 units. The game's predecessor, Phantasy Star Portable 2, sold 287,000 units in its first week, with a much higher sell-through of 76.48%.

SD Gundam G Generation World, on the other hand, appears to be performing ahead of its PS2 predecessor, 2009's SD Gundam G Generation Wars. The PSP version sold 193,000 units, higher than the PS2 title's 175,000.

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