A number of analysts and sources we have spoken with are scratching their heads over the North American and European launch dates. While rumblings suggest that Nintendo wanted to launch this holiday season, it just was not possible, as we all now know. The shadow dwellers are telling us that they just don’t think Nintendo can make enough units and get it launched by the March 5th date in North America with a Japanese launch ahead of it.
With the Japanese launch and the North American launch only separated by a week, it does seem a bit difficult to believe that a company with a history of not being able to supply enough product to the channel to satisfy demand would be able to make that launch date in North America, let alone Europe.
The other head-scratcher seems to be the price. The $300 price tag for the 3DS was clearly more than almost anyone had expected. However, it seems that those we spoke with agree that initially it will not matter; as it will still sell well at $300, but at $250 it could do much better. Right now, it is difficult to say why the price is higher than expected, but it is likely that the parts used in the 3DS are simply expensive at this point and it is going to take some time for the price to go down.
The end result is a lot more questions than answers. We have to think that there is going to be a delay in the North American and European launches, and if it does end up launching in March we suspect that supply will be very tight. Retail sources we have spoken with say that they are still going to order heavy on the 3DS, but they don’t expect that Nintendo will be able to fill their orders on time. As one retailer told us, “We just have had too much history with Nintendo not being able to ship enough product to us to sell, and I don’t expect anything to be different with the 3DS.”