November 5, 2008 - The Nintendo DSi, the latest edition of the company's extremely popular handheld gaming device, sold over 170,779 units in Japan over the course of its first two days on sale, according to an estimate from Japan's Enterbrain, a video game magazine publisher. The DSi went on sale Saturday to much fanfare during the start of a three-day holiday weekend in Japan. The unit carried a retail price of 16,800 yen (Approx. $165.00).
To help avoid the long lines during the launch, a number of customers reserved a unit prior to the Saturday release, and as a result some stores were only able to carry enough DSi's to cover the reservations, leaving non-reservists feelings like a bunch of Americans trying to get their hands on a launch PS3. Suckers!
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told investors that 200,000 units were shipped out for the launch. The extra approx. 30,000 copies from the 170,000 sold are being accounted for in unclaimed pre-orders as well as rollovers of stock for the third day of sales (a holiday) after the main release. Currently, it has been reported that the Tokyo area is almost completely sold out of units, with the small leftover 30,000 expected to sell quickly, completely selling out the first release of the DSi.
The launch was a preemptive strike by Nintendo in a bid to drive up domestic demand for the DS series of handhelds, which has experienced a decline in sales as retail penetration grows. Overall sales of Nintendo DS handhelds, including the original DS model and DS Lite, rounded out at 23.6 million units as of the end of October, which equals approx. one for every five people in Japan.
For restocking, Nintendo plans on having an additional 100,000 units out at retail about week after the system's launch. An overseas launch date for the DSi has not been announced yet, but it is expected to hit US soil sometime in 2009.