Is Nintendo 3DS a UK record breaker?

Shops break sales silence.

Last week, analysts and shops predicted opening weekend 3DS sales could be as massive as 200,000 units. Their estimates were made off the back of a Nintendo-flaunted pre-order count of 140,000 3DS consoles.

Last week, UK shops and supermarkets told Eurogamer there would also be 3DS shelf stock beyond the pre-order number on sale throughout the opening weekend. Nintendo commented that shelf stock would be "well in excess" of pre-orders.

By fulfilling pre-orders alone, the 3DS would beat the DSi opening weekend sales of 92,000 units. And the DSi was the UK's fourth fastest-selling console.

Last week, Cheryl Baker and Kris Akabusi were readying themselves for another record breaker.

But this week we're less confident. Shops haven't sold out. 3DS queues were sparse and dwarfed by lines of iPad 2 shoppers. And the UK top 40 chart wasn't white-washed by 3DS launch titles.

Nintendo is still to issue a press release on 3DS sales, but Eurogamer, impatient to find out, took to the streets to ask the shops about the 3DS' opening weekend.

"The 3DS has been huge for us," ASDA told Eurogamer. "In fact, it was our biggest ever format launch, driven by really strong online sales and our a fantastically-priced opening bundle."

"It's certainly among our fastest ever selling consoles," HMV added to Eurogamer, "but still a little too early to give a final figure/view."

"The category manager tells me that the Sony PS3 [launch] was the biggest for us," Currys explained to Eurogamer, "and maybe even further back Sony PS2.

"The 3DS is the biggest Nintendo one for us, though."

"The 3DS hasn't actually been our fastest ever selling console, yet, anyway," Sainsbury's told us.

"As a company we do not release info on sales or statistics so cannot disclose this answer," Toys R Us began. "However, I can tell you that we have not sold out."

"As in previous years," GAME told Eurogamer, "we're not able to talk about the results of a console launch until our next trading update. For this period, that will be 27th April."

Update: "The simple answer is that yes, the 3DS will have been the quickest selling by a country mile," declared Morrisons to Eurogamer.

"That's mainly because we had a pre-order system for the first time which allowed us to get much more stock than we would have got under previous circumstances, and also incentivised customers to come in and buy it on the day of or day after release.

"Sorry, not prepared to share numbers but we had an extremely good share of the supermarket sector, Nintendo have said we were number two."

Play.com, Tesco and Amazon are all looking into the matter for Eurogamer, and we'll update this story when they respond.

The picture painted so far doesn't suggest a UK 3DS landslide victory. Was the price too high, even when heavily discounted to below 200 at most shop destinations?

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