3DS has best ever Nintendo handheld launch

Nintendo's 3DS, which launched in the U.S. on Sunday, has become the bestselling handheld launch the company has ever measured. However, it didn't release sales figures.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
The Nintendo 3DS has the bestselling handheld launch.
The Nintendo 3DS has the bestselling handheld launch. Nintendo

The Nintendo 3DS had the best U.S. launch of any handheld the game company has ever released, according to a statement today.

"U.S. day-one sales numbers for the Nintendo 3DS were the highest of any Nintendo handheld system in our history," a company representative told CNET today. Though Nintendo didn't release actual sales figures, the company said that first-week sales will be available from research firm NPD when it announces its March industry revenue findings next month.

Nintendo launched the 3DS in the U.S. on Sunday for $249. The device, which allows users to play 3D games without the need for special glasses, was readily available online and in some stores around the U.S. following the launch, prompting some to wonder whether Nintendo enjoyed the same kind of success in North America as it did in Japan. The handheld reportedly sold out in Japan during its first weekend of availability.

The achievement shouldn't be taken lightly. The device's launch has outpaced some of the bestselling game handhelds ever released, including the Nintendo Game Boy, the Nintendo DS, and many others. Nintendo revealed earlier this year that it sold more than 47 million DS units in the U.S. alone since that platform's launch in 2004. The 3DS seems well on its way to matching its predecessor.

But amid all the good news coming from the 3DS, the platform has caught some flak from upset customers who say their devices were crashing while they were playing games. In those cases, players were reportedly forced to shut the device off and start over.

Though Nintendo didn't specifically cite those issues, the company told CNET today that it hasn't received too many complaints about its 3DS, and the rate of hardware failure was actually quite low.

"The number of calls and e-mails received by our customer support center is well below the rate experienced during past hardware launches, and there are no widespread issues," the Nintendo representative told CNET. "As always, people who have questions or comments about Nintendo 3DS or any Nintendo products can visit our support Web site or call 800-255-3700."

Further reading: CNET's Nintendo 3DS review