December 1, 2004 10:09 AM PST

Nintendo DS a sales sensation

Nintendo's new handheld game machine is making a splash with holiday shoppers, who snapped up more than 500,000 DS machines in the product's first week on the market.

The Japanese game giant reported Tuesday that more than 90 percent of available Nintendo DS units were bought the week after they went on sale Nov. 21.

The buying frenzy is already creating shortages at some retailers, a situation becoming distressingly familiar for anyone with gamers on their shopping list.

As of Wednesday, Amazon.com had DS units available only from Amazon Marketplace partners, some of whom were charging a $100 premium over the $150 list price for the DS. CompUSA didn't even have the DS listed on its Web site, while specialty retailers GameStop and EBGames listed the DS as back-ordered, with EBGames promising delivery by Jan. 31.

"With Nintendo DS sales moving faster than anticipated, some locations have reported sellouts, and Nintendo predicts the initial North American supply will be depleted within days," Nintendo of America said in a statement. "As additional shipments are rushed to stores by this weekend to meet the demand, Nintendo expects to sell 1 million Nintendo DS units in North America alone by the end of 2004."

Nintendo expects to sell 5 million DS units worldwide by March 31, the end of its fiscal year, and had to open a third factory to crank out units fast enough to meet advance demand in Japan, where the device goes on sale Thursday.

Big opening numbers are likely to give Nintendo an even bigger lead over Sony, which is set to enter the handheld-game market later this month with the PlayStation Portable. Sony executives recently confirmed reports of PSP inventory issues, saying that only 200,000 units will be available when the machine goes on sale in Japan on Dec. 12.

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Rinse, lather, repeat.
This is the third time Nintendo has released a product and failed to provide enough quantity to the public during their first release.

The Nintendo DS release in Japan, AFAIK, did not have such quantity problems. Only in the US does this continue to happen.

What is it going to take for the beast of the home gaming industry to address this issue?
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
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Only in the US
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Posted by Ubber geek (325 comments )
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PS2 Availability
After searching for several days for a Sony PS2, I was finally informed by a store knowledgeable staff that one of the main reasons the PS2 was unavailable was due to an earthquake in Japan that destroyed a couple of their primary warehouses and its contents. Since then Sony has not been able to keep up with the current demand that would have been otherwise minimal. Many stores I visited iterated that instead of receiving dozens and hundreds of PS2s, that they were arriving in one's and two's.

Also, I've heard (1,000th plus person?) that there is the possibility of a PS3 coming out soon, so why would Sony go into overdrive on the PS2?
Posted by ex_f15_ais (3 comments )
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