Nintendo expects biggest ever hardware launch

On the eve of the biggest launch in its history, Nintendo has told MCV that everything is in place for the 3DS to break records this weekend and then go on to become it’s most successful ever console.

Marketing manager James Honeywell said that the pre-launch campaign has been an unqualified success, with the sampling tour introducing the new format to over half a million consumers – considerably more than the firm’s original target of 400,000.

He also confirmed that the first wave of marketing will spike this weekend and next week, before a couple of slightly quieter weeks and then a second wave, targeting the mainstream consumer as much as existing gamers, will be everywhere from the start of the Easter holidays and through into May.

Asked about sales projections for this weekend and beyond he commented: Obviously the original headline statement was that we wanted to sell four million globally by the end of March.

"What does that mean for the UK? Well, it’s early days, but we do know that we have record pre-orders of over 140,000, which suggests it’s going to be our biggest ever launch by some distance – with Wii we did 106,000 in the opening weekend and with DSi it was 90,000.

How many people who haven’t pre-ordered will go out this weekend and buy one this weekend? It’s hard to say, but what we know already is that in one weekend we’ll sell more 3DS units than all the 3D TVs sold in the entire past year – so we really are bringing 3D to the masses.

Long term we’re hopeful it can be our biggest ever machine. We’ve sold over 13 million DS units in the UK and over 132 million worldwide, so that gives you some idea of the scale of ambition.”

To read MCV’s full interview with Honeywell, click here.

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