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Nintendo 3DS launches in Japan

Nintendo’s newest portable game console went on sale in Japan on Feb. 26, and analysts say the Nintendo 3DS promises to be the world’s first 3-D mass-market product, according to the Associated Press.

“I’m so excited,” 9-year-old Natsumi Miyasaka told the Associated Press, clutching her brand new blue 3DS portable that her father bought for her.

The online edition of the Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun (via Andriasang) reported that the initial shipment of 400,000 units for the glasses-free 3-D handheld successor to the Nintendo DS sold out in the first day. Video game magazine Famitsu followed up with more exact sales numbers, reporting a sale-through of 371,326 units.

Large lines — although the lines were smaller compared to previous gizmo launches due to pre-orders offered by Nintendo — formed outside electronics stores in Tokyo on the night of Feb. 25.

The Associated Press stated that the Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. anticipates to sell 4 million 3DS handhelds through the end of March, and to have no problem meeting that target.

“It is the most comprehensive handheld gaming device from Nintendo to date, with high-quality graphics and online features,” analyst with J.P. Morgan in Tokyo Hiroshi Kamide told the Associated Press. “I believe the 3DS will be the first mass-market 3-D device.”

The Nintendo 3DS arrives in the U.S. on March 27 for $250.

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