Finding an iPad 2 Right Now Is a Huge Headache, but the Nintendo 3DS Comes With a Headache

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week

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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 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 machineā€¦. 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.

One of the more damning reviews came in the form of a tweet yesterday from Jonathan S. Geller, the founder of the influential Boy Genius Report blog:

@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:

Recent volume of tweets name-checking Nintendo
Recent volume of tweets name-checking "Nintendo"

  • 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.

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week is produced in collaboration with Wiredset, the New York digital agency behind Trendrr.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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