Why Is The 3DS So Hard To Find In America?

Tiny Tim or Little Tina might not get their Nintendo 3DS for Christmas this year. Over in the US, the handheld console is facing a shortage in brick and mortar stores across the country and online.

Nintendo 3ds

At Best Buy, GameStop and Target, the console is low-stock or unavailable in stores throughout and proximate to America's six most populous cities. Online, most 3DS consoles are unavailable from GameStop and Target's sites. BestBuy.com is still selling some models. Amazon has always had a weird relation to the 3DS, so their apparent shortage may be another story.

I looked online for 3DS consoles for sale at Best Buy, Target and GameStop within 90, 100 and 402km of the six most populous cities after Polygon on Monday reported that "this has been the case since at least after Black Friday, when members of Polygon went looking for Nintendo 3DS systems to make up for the quick sellout of Nintendo's limited-edition, $US99 ($136) holiday handheld deal." The search bore few results.

Chicago and Philadelphia are dry. Yesterday, there were "Galaxy style" models all around Phoenix Best Buys, but today, they seem to be sold out. If you're in Houston, there's a pink console at a GameStop in Silsbee, Texas, an hour and a half outside Houston. In New York City, you may still be able to pick up a pink 3DS XL in Manhattan or a black 3DS XL in the Bronx at a handful of select GameStops. Otherwise, you're out of luck.

When reached for comment, Nintendo said they had "nothing to announce."

We know that there's also a Wii U shortage across the country and online, but that's more understandable since Nintendo will roll out the Switch early 2017. But Nintendo has said that the Switch isn't a replacement for the 3DS, despite the fact it's portable. If that's the case, how come no one's packin' it?


    A console near the end of it's presumed life-cycle just had the release of a major title shortly before holidays. Shockingly, stock is now limited. Who'd have thunk it?

    Heh, Switch is not a replacement for the 3DS.

    Just like the DS was not a replacement for the Gameboy.

    Greatest lie we ever let Nintendo get away with. Still waiting for my Game Boy Advance 2.

    I'll miss the 3DS, it's been a staple of this generation for me.

    I'm not sure what a Nintendy PO lead time is, but I wouldn't be surprised if many Purchasing officers etc had low orders for the holiday period, expecting Nintendo to release the Switch, and for it to simultaneously replace the 3DS. So post Black Friday, they sell through existing stock with no replenishment in the pipeline.

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