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3DS demand 'very strong,' GameStop says

Video game retailer says it's working closely with Nintendo to get enough of the handheld game players on hand for this weekend's launch.

The Nintendo 3DS is launching Sunday for $249.
The Nintendo 3DS is launching Sunday for $249. Nintendo

Demand for the Nintendo 3DS will be quite high, video game retailer GameStop predicts.

"We are seeing very strong demand for the 3DS," GameStop President Tony Bartel said during an earnings call yesterday, according to a transcript posted on SeekingAlpha. "We've been working very closely with Nintendo to maintain our reservations, to keep them open, and Nintendo has been very good with providing us with additional supply of 3DS so that we can keep our reservations open."

Even so, Bartel said it's been a battle. Demand for the upcoming portable has been so significant that the company has been forced to work "every day with Nintendo to ensure that we have sufficient product."

The clock is ticking on getting that supply. The Nintendo 3DS, which enables people to play 3D titles without the need for special glasses, is launching on Sunday for $249. According to Nintendo, the device will launch with 18 games. Another 12 titles will hit store shelves in the next couple months.

Demand for the 3DS hasn't only been high in the U.S. The platform launched in Japan last month and promptly sold out in its first weekend of availability. Whether that will happen in the States remains to be seen, but for now, Bartel is confident his company will "have sufficient product at launch."

Speaking of the launch, both GameStop and Nintendo plan to hold special events to welcome the new portable to the U.S.

Nintendo said today that it will be host a launch event starting Saturday night and carrying over into Sunday morning at the Union Square Best Buy in New York City. The company is planning "live entertainment, branded giveaway items, and hands-on demonstrations of the new system." Leading up to the event, Nintendo will be offering demos to customers.

GameStop's launch event will be far more widespread. The company said today that it will open over 800 stores around the U.S. at 12:01 a.m. local time on Sunday to let gamers get their hands on the device as soon as possible. Another 2,400 stores will be open earlier than usual at 9 a.m.