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Nintendo 3DS Launches in UK, Expected to Sell 200,000 By Weekend

Nintendo 3DS Launches in UK, Expected to Sell 200,000 By Weekend

March 25, 2011 | By Mike Rose

The Nintendo 3DS launched in the UK today, with over 140,000 preorders registered for the follow-up to the world's best-selling handheld.

With analysts suggesting that sales could reach 200,000 by the end of the weekend, the 3DS could be the biggest hardware launch ever in the UK.

At a Gamasutra-attended 3DS launch event at a GAME store in Manchester, England, over 40 excited gamers turned up just before midnight to pick up their handhelds.

Elsewhere, the flagship HMV store was expecting a turnout of around 60 customers at midnight. However, at ten minutes to twelve, there were only a handful of people queueing outside the doors.

Earlier in the week, Amazon UK confirmed that preorders for the 3DS were double that of the Nintendo Wii, and 71 percent higher than the previous Amazon UK hardware pre-order record set by the PlayStation 3 in 2007.

However, UK marketing boss James Honeywell was quick to point out that there is enough stock to go around. Talking To Eurogamer at the London launch, he said, "We have well in excess of the pre-orders available."

"I know we haven't published an actual number, and I know there have been a lot of reports out there talking about numbers. All of those numbers are way short of the actual number," he noted.

Concerning preorder numbers, he confirmed, "The pre-orders are 140,000... We've got way more than that available out there. So don't be put off by that. You can go out there and you'll be able to get one no matter what."

Over 1,200 stores opened at midnight, including 482 GAME and GameStation shops. At the HMV store on Oxford Street, London, gamers were queueing outside as early as a day in advance.

David Yarnton, General Manager of Nintendo UK, said of the launch, "The reaction to Nintendo 3DS has exceeded our wildest expectations. Glasses-free 3D entertainment has truly arrived.

"Its almost certain that the number of Nintendo 3DS consoles sold on Friday will exceed the number of 3D televisions sold in the whole of 2010."

He added, "Until now 3D has been too expensive, too clumsy and too restricted. With Nintendo 3DS its mobile. Its affordable. Its glasses-free. And its here, now."

The RRP for the console is 229.99 ($370.35), although UK retailers have been constantly undercutting each other in the weeks leading up to the launch, with Amazon UK offering as low as 187.00 ($301.13).

The launch line-up features 16 games in total, including Nintendo's PilotWings Resort and Capcom's Super Street Fighter IV 3D. Ubisoft also has four titles available in the launch line-up.

The latest Nintendo handheld is set to be released in the U.S. on Sunday, March 27. The stereoscopic 3D hardware was released in Japan on February 26.

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