The buzziest new gadget of the moment -- other than the iPad 2 -- is the Nintendo 3DS. Whereas finding an iPad 2 right now is a major headache (the backorder wait at apple.com is "3-4 weeks," and Apple stores that get fresh shipments sell them out in minutes), Nintendo's new tech toy includes a headache. The $250 glasses-free 3-D hand-held gaming console went on sale in the U.S. at midnight Sunday, and it's garnering a curious mixture of raves and (literally) pained responses. For instance, here's a brief excerpt from a review by Entertainment Weekly's Adam B. Vary:
When the sleek, slim device first arrived at my office, I took it around to several of my non-gamer colleagues to gauge their reaction, and to a person, they all lit up with the kind of giddy fascination I imagine kids in the early 1980s felt when they stepped into their very first arcade. For the first five minutes, anyway. Because here's the inescapable thing about the Nintendo 3DS: It is a sure-fire headache machine…. The initial time I really played with the 3DS -- about a 40 minute-long demo -- I spent the rest of the day with a nagging pain in my cranium, and a slight unsettled feeling in my stomach.
@boygenius: the nintendo 3DS gave a headache after 10 minutes. seriously. this is bullshit, i wouldnt buy it for my kids.
For its part, Nintendo issued a statement to the Maxconsole gaming site claiming that it's "received very few negative comments," and that the "minor discomfort" some users might experience is nothing to worry about: "The effects are short term and have no lasting effect." Yesterday, as USA Today reported, the company also issued a separate statement saying that first-day U.S. sales of the 3DS were "the highest of any Nintendo hand-held system in our history," though it didn't release specific numbers.
Which brings me to this week's charticle data -- collected and parsed, as always, by our editorial partner Trendrr, the social-media monitoring service. Some notes:
- Curiously, the biggest spike in tweets including the word "Nintendo" didn't come as the 3DS launched in the world's biggest gaming market this week; rather, the one-day peak (44,104 tweets) came last Sept. 29, when Nintendo first officially announced the Nintendo 3DS (although it had earlier shown off the technology in prototype form).
- Over the past week or so, tweets name-checking "Nintendo" have been in the 15,000-20,000-per-day range.
- Trendrr estimates that the gender split on tweeting about Nintendo lately is 56% male/44% female.
- The top five states tweeting about Nintendo have been Texas, California, New York, Kentucky and Florida.
- The top five countries tweeting about Nintendo have been the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, Spain and Canada.
Meanwhile, the stock of German pharmaceutical company Bayer -- maker of Bayer aspirin -- is up 0.61% as of 1 p.m. EDT.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.