The company plans to ship 2 million GBA SP units worldwide by the time the system has launched in all global territories at the end of this month. According to Japanese magazine publisher Enterbrain, demand for the SP remains high in Japan, and the system could have sold even more units had stock been available.
Nintendo is being careful not to reduce the number of units available for its US and European launches – which are both happening in the next eight days – by attempting to meet the huge demand in Japan, however, and has stated that although it will attempt to restock Japan as regularly as possible, it is focusing on preparations for the overseas launches at the moment.
The company’s stated target is to shift 15 million GBAs globally this year, and surprisingly, some analysts are placing sales estimates for the hardware above Nintendo’s own estimates – thanks largely to the huge success of Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire, which sold incredibly strongly in Japan prior to Christmas and are launching in the USA this week.
Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Jay Defibaugh, for example, is quoted by news agency Reuters as predicting sales of 16.9 million GBA hardware units this year. These figures all account for both the GBA SP and the original GBA – and it’s worth noting that the arrival of the SP in Japan did not dampen enthusiasm for the original hardware, which clocked up 124,000 unit sales during the past month, making for a grand total of 489,000 GBAs sold in Japan in the four weeks since the SP launched.