Nintendo revealed that their new 3DS portable sold "just shy of 400,000 units" in the U.S. during its first week of availability, behind analyst estimates of 500,000 to 750,000 sales.
While Nintendo didn't provide more specific sales data, NPD's monthly sales report pointed out the new system sold roughly 100,000 fewer units in the week after its March 27 launch than the Nintendo DS did in its November 2004 launch month.
The original Nintendo DS sold 480,000 units between its November 21, 2004 launch and the end of the launch month, according to NPD data, which would put first-week 3DS sales somewhere around 380,000 units.
NPD analyst Anita Frazier pointed out in a note today that the Nintendo DS' launch performance was likely buoyed by the system's holiday-season launch and smaller historical competition in the portable market.
While Nintendo said the original Nintendo DS family of systems -- including the DS Lite, DSi and DSi XL -- sold 460,000 units altogether in March, those system had the benefit of four full weeks of availability during the period, making direct comparison difficult.
The DSi sold 828,000 units in April 2009 after launching on the 5th of the month, while the super-sized DSi XL sold 141,000 units in the three days following in March 28, 2010 launch, NPD data shows.
Nintendo previously revealed that the 3DS saw more first-day sales than any previous Nintendo handheld during its American launch.
The system sold 371,000 units in just two days in Japan, and sold 303,000 units in its European launch weekend. In Australia, the system sold 31,000 units in the first four days following its launch.
Weekly Japanese 3DS sales have declined dramatically since launch, however, and Lazard Capital analyst Colin Sebastian says his checks with retailers have shown a similar sales slowdown happening in the U.S.