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Nintendo DS Japanese Launch

by Daniel Bloodworth - December 2, 2004, 9:20 pm PST
Total comments: 9 Source: Nintendo

Hot on the heels of big US sales, the DS makes its debut in the homeland.

After a strong sales in the US, the Nintendo DS was made available to hundreds of thousands of Japanese gamers Thursday morning. Many shops opened three hours earlier than normal to accomodate long lines and customers heading to work. Nintendo also pulled off some magic by providing 500,000 units to merchants on day one - up from the 300,000 Nintendo promised. With many of those systems purchased via pre-order, Nintendo may likely sell over a million units worldwide in less than two weeks.

Here are a few photos from Japan, courtesy of Nintendo.

Who needs employees when there are step ladders?
Who needs employees when there are step ladders?

Shota Ishbashi at the head of the line.
Shota Ishbashi at the head of the line.

Handy outdoor registers
Handy outdoor registers

Nintendo Touts Big Holiday Hardware Sells

DS is a virtual sell-out, but more units are arriving this week. GBA and GameCube are also selling briskly.


Game Boy Advance and Nintendo GameCube Also Post Big Numbers

REDMOND, Wash.--Dec. 1, 2004--Shoppers spent Thanksgiving week

stuffing their shopping bags with Nintendo hardware, setting the stage

for 2004 to be the year of the hand-held holidays. Shoppers snapped up

more than 500,000 Nintendo DS(TM) systems during Thanksgiving week,

representing more than 90 percent of all units available in stores

across the United States.

With Nintendo DS sales moving faster than anticipated, some

locations have reported sellouts, and Nintendo predicts the initial

North American supply will be depleted within days. As additional

shipments are rushed to stores by this weekend to meet the demand,

Nintendo expects to sell 1 million Nintendo DS units in North

America alone by the end of 2004 -- a mark that took Apple's iPod 19

months to achieve.

"Consumers have voted the Nintendo DS as the hot item this

holiday, so if you see one, you'd better buy it," says Reggie

Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales &

marketing. "Nintendo owns the hand-held market, and once again we're

the hit of the holiday season."

Nintendo's other hand-held system, Game Boy(R) Advance, also

soared during the holiday weekend. Nintendo sold more than 800,000

Game Boy Advance and Game Boy(R) Advance SP units during the past

week. The combined 1.3 million Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance units

sold last week set a new one-week sales record for hand-held systems.

And the Game Boy Advance line remains on track to be the best-selling

hardware line of the year.

Nintendo GameCube(TM) also posted impressive numbers. The special

bundle of a Nintendo GameCube and a "Mario Kart(R): Double Dash!!(TM)"

game has sold more than 250,000 units since its introduction in


Nintendo DS is revolutionizing video games by providing players

completely new ways to interact with their games. The sharp, angular,

silver-and-black dual-screened system comes with a stylus and features

a touch screen, voice control and wireless communication. Nintendo DS,

available now at an MSRP of $149.99, represents a third, distinct

product line for Nintendo, along with Game Boy Advance SP and Nintendo

GameCube. Nintendo DS comes packaged with both a free, embedded

"PictoChat(TM)" communication program, and a playable demo of

"Metroid(R) Prime Hunters" with both single-player and multiplayer




Will be interesting to see the first week of sales for Japan -- most sites have downplayed the japanese DS launch in terms of people showing up for queues and so on, but I don't think they really have taken into account the fact that Nintendo actually managed half a million units by launch-day. It'll be interesting. Somehow I doubt Japan can beat the US' half million in a week though. face-icon-small-smile.gif

MarioDecember 04, 2004

It sold 230,000 units on day 1, with around 70,000 people buying Super Mario 64 DS and also around 70,000 people buying Wario Ware DS. Weekly sales should be in soon.

norebonomisDecember 04, 2004

it feel so weird knowing we here in the us got the ds before japan. does anyone else feel scrared? like something bad is going to happen?

Bill AurionDecember 04, 2004

No, how could you?

UrkelDecember 04, 2004

What happened to the 2 million pre-orders? Shouldn't the system have been sold out on day one and then some?

PlugabugzDecember 04, 2004

Now expect all of europe and australia to sell a total of 5 between all those countries.

Nintendo will ship only 3. 1 will go to ebay to battle it out and the other will be available for rent in a tiny blockbuster in the middle of the north sea somewhere.

That only accounts to 2, i don't know where the other 3 are. Nintendo lost them.


Caustic SaintDecember 04, 2004

As of Sunday afternoon (Tokyo time) there were still plenty of systems and games to be had. I kinda wish I'd waited a couple days so I could've gone into town and used my discount card at Bic Camera (big electronics chain) and saved some money, but on the other had, I did score one on launch day. Better safe than sorry, I guess. face-icon-small-smile.gif

And hey - I do get to play Wario Ware DS every day, and my Mr. Driller has single-card multiplayer, and there's the free Mr. Driller DS bag I can send off for....

I guess I don't have much to complain about after all! face-icon-small-happy.gif

(Okay, I'll shut up now....)

Avinash_TyagiDecember 06, 2004


What happened to the 2 million pre-orders? Shouldn't the system have been sold out on day one and then some?

Not quite, the mid week launch hurt the initial sales.

According to gamesindustry.biz:

it should be noted that Nintendo chose to launch the console midweek, which will have negatively impacted early sales.


MarioDecember 06, 2004


Wow, 513,000 Nintendo DS's sold in four days. This thing is going to be HUGE.

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