Nintendo’s made clear that they plan on producing four million 3DS units in the fiscal year ending in March, with 1.5 million of those being allocated to Japan. What we still don’t know, however, is how many of those units will actually be available for launch on February 26th in Japan.
Andriasang has translated a recent unconfirmed report that states that only 400,000 units will be available at the 3DS release in Japan. Considering how massively popular this portable is destined to be, that doesn’t seem like a very high number at all, and gives terrible flashbacks to the ridiculous Wii shortages when that first came out in 2006.
Even though this is an unconfirmed report, it nonetheless makes perfect sense. What also makes sense is that the very same logic should apply to the American release as well; I would expect the initial US shipment to be around the same number, and not too much more.
Moral of the story? If you want to experience glorious 3D in portable form, pre-order your console, and do it ASAP. I’ve been putting it off, but now that I know this, I’ll be sure to stop by the nearest electronics store and reserve one for myself.