It may have stolen the show at E3, but retailers aren’t banking on 3DS to launch in Europe this side of Christmas.
No one is doubting that Nintendo’s new handheld – described by one buyer as a ‘major step forward in handheld gaming’ – will impress when it arrives.
But when it arrives is the issue. Very few believe it’ll be before 2011.
Instead, insiders have told MCV they are expecting Nintendo to maintain its promise to have the device launched globally by March 2011 – but with Europe getting 3DS around February 2011, with a price just under £200.
“It was a real wow moment when we first held the 3DS, but unfortunately I don’t think we will see it this year,” said Marc Spence, head of entertainment at fast-growing big-box retailer Best Buy UK.
Sarah Jasper at online giant The Hut concurred: “At E3 I managed to get hands on with 3DS and found the experience very impressive.
“With only rumours of the release date, I hope to get my hands on one of these again before Christmas, but I suspect it is unlikely for this year.”
Nintendo 3DS’ E3 unveiling came alongside Microsoft revealing the final brand for its 360 Kinect camera plus a September 14th launch date and low starting price of £39.99 for Sony’s Move.
Retailers have been re-energised by the new hardware.
Asda’s new head of games Andrew Thompson added: “UK retail will be holding its breath hoping for a 2010 3DS release to deliver a much-needed boost to hardware sales.”
And although Thompson says a 2010 launch for 3DS would be ‘a much welcomed surprise’, he added: “In reality it may be that stock will be built for the US and Japan markets before we see 3DS in Europe.”