Nintendo defends 3DS stock strategy

The boss of Nintendo America has said that the company went to great lengths to ensure that 3DS would be plentiful at launch and there would be no shortages.

"I would characterise it as a launch where we learned significant lessons from the launch of Wii and we made sure to have not only ample supply in the marketplace, but we staged supply so it would not sell out," Reggie told USA Today.

"We had product going direct to store and we also had product in retailers, so they could easily replenish when they had stores running low on inventory. That strategy is why you didn’t see massive sellouts on Nintendo 3DS."

Of course, the truth is that with any major console launch nowadays platform holders are in a lose-lose situation. If stock is short they are accused of deliberately under-manufacturing so as to create hype and demand. If stock is plentiful, the machine is deemed a flop.

It’s the sales numbers themselves that tell the real story.

"Obviously, a sell-through of 400,000 units in one week is exceptional," Reggie insisted. "And the fact that we achieved that without people being worried about massive stockouts and shortages just underscored how we properly executed our supply chain.

"It really is apples and oranges. When we launched DS we launched going right into the Thanksgiving week (in 2004). From a pure timing seasonality, you are not going to be able to compare the two launches. We are going to be continuing to sell DS and that platform is going to continue to build on its legacy of the best-selling hardware system ever in the US.

"I would love to have the Nintendo 3DS eclipse that, but this is a new platform that we have just given birth to. I would love to have ongoing comparisons to the DS business because that would certainly mean we are doing a good job growing the Nintendo 3DS business."

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