Two days ahead of its U.S. launch this Sunday, March 27, regional preorders for the Nintendo 3DS are nearly twice what the Wii saw at a similar point, says Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian, citing Nintendo's own data.
The estimate spans all U.S. retail; recently, Amazon UK said it was seeing its preorders for the device in the region
more than double those of the Wii's. The 3DS' UK launch took place today
, March 25, and the hardware is expected to see about 200,000 units sold in the region over the weekend.
The device has a launch lineup
of about 30 games, but the company focused on having an especially robust firmware selection for the device as well, with games that use augmented reality cards, new Mii features and other initiatives encouraging players to use the 3DS' online functionality.
"The autostereoscopic graphics in the Nintendo 3DS system have been attracting most of the attention," says Mizuki Kiyoshi of Nintendo's Network Software Development Group in a new "Iwata Asks" questionnaire on the company's website
"However, we were in contact with things besides that all through development, such as counting your steps as with a pedometer, or having StreetPass with people, and it's really fun to watch the changes that take place within those day by day," he adds. "I'd really like everyone to experience those things as well."