Sold Out: What’s Happening With the Availablity of 3DS Games in Australia?

Had trouble finding a copy of Luigi’s Mansion 2, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate or¬†Fire Emblem: Awakening on the 3DS lately? You’re not alone.

We’ve been receiving anecdotal reports that all three of the above games have been hard to come by in various locations in Australia. So we thought would investigate it a little further.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

We knew that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has issues when it was launched weeks ago, but it would appear that the game is still out of stock in many places. EB Games lists the game as out of stock and JB Hi-Fi don’t have a listing for the game at all anymore. We went further with our search, Big W no longer have a listing for the game, Gametraders lists it as out of stock it has even been removed from independent store Dungeon Crawl. All of these retailers were selling the game in the past, we listed most of them in our bargain round up.

Monster Hunter’s stock issues are well documented, Nintendo even spoke to us and offered the olive branch of being able to purchase download codes for the game at EB Games. Monster Hunter is a niche title, so it could be just Nintendo under estimated the demand for the game and this is a once off.

So what about Luigi’s Mansion 2 then?

Luigi’s Mansion 2

When the game was released almost a month ago we were sent the picture below by one of our readers. A sign in JB Hi-Fi saying that the game was out of stock and that you should ‘pre-order’ the game. Preorder a game already released? That seems very odd. Perhaps this one store was an anomaly however, perhaps it did get more stock later on.

But it didn’t.

Photo by Shaun C.

Photo by Shaun C.

Shaun who sent the image in said the same banner was up last week when he was in the store and many other retailers (and retail workers) have told us the same as well. This is all anecdotal and one JB Hi-Fi store can’t be extrapolated to the entire country. But the game does still appear to be in limited supply in stores.

So to find out more we went online yet again to try and find a copy of Luigi’s Mansion 2, because if anyone should have one it should be online retailers.

The biggest two retailers both have Luigi’s Mansion 2 out of stock online, EB Games lists the game still, but JB Hi-Fi only has a listing for the strategy guide. We went further though, Big W, Gametraders, Dungeon Crawl again didn’t have the game in stock or even listed at all.

Sadder still is that Big W seem to be paying for Luigi’s Mansion 2 adverts in Google, with a search of the games name coming up with the below listing. It links to a page saying the game is out of stock. That seems like a waste.

Luigi's Mansion 2 Listing in Google from BIg W

Google Search Result for ‘Luigi’s Mansion 2’

Fire Emblem: Awakening

The last game we put under the retail microscope is Fire Emblem: Awakening which came out last Saturday. Our online searches find the game in stock on many sites still, so stock doesn’t seem to be a problem yet online.

However when we tried to buy the game on Saturday morning, the day of release, 4 different Perth CBD¬† game stores told us they had sold out and only had enough copies to fill pre-orders. We’ve heard similar tales from readers in other states as well, but Fire Emblem seems to be new enough for stock not yet to be a problem. If it will at all.

So what’s going on? Is Nintendo Australia (or Nintendo in general) under-shipping titles because it can’t get copies from wherever they get copies from, or is it they don’t want to? Could it be retailers not showing enough interest in 3DS titles and not ordering as much? For the Wii U this might seem like a problem – but the 3DS is doing great isn’t it?

Are the glory days over? Will we be forced to pre-order every single title to guarantee a physical copy of the game on launch or wait more than a month for a copy?

But wait, what about the eShop?

Conspiracy Theory: Push for eShop Sales

One theory floating the internet, which has been applied to Nintendo branches of all regions is the theory that Nintendo is deliberately making games hard to find in order to push eShop sales of the games. Nintendo UK has had stock issues with Monster Hunter and Fire Emblem: Awakening was hard to find for weeks after its release in the US.

eShop sales are high margin for Nintendo, there’s no retailer, no middle man and they get everything at full retail price. Why wouldn’t they?

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime last week was quoted last week as saying that Nintendo’s digital sales are soaring with 11% of titles sold now digital.

While we don’t subscribe to this theory here at Vooks, its something that will be on the minds of gamers as they try to find games in stock.

Tell us your experience

Have you had troubles finding any of the above three games? At either retail or online. We’d like to hear your story.

We will be following up with Nintendo for a comment.

Games were out of stock or not available at the time of stories publishing on April 24th at 10am WST.

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Daniel Vuckovic
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  • WayneGio
    April 24, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I haven’t tried looking for Luigi’s Mansion yet, but it is a game that I really want. I like to have physical copies of games rather than getting them through the eShop. I didn’t buy it straight away because I assumed, being a 1st party game, that it would be around in stores forever… I don’t want to have to resort to importing or go pre-owned.

  • Reece
    April 24, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Hey Wayne, I work at The Gamesmen Penshurst, we have local Australian stock, very limited, selling extremely well, but we still got it ūüôā I hate the idea of eShop as well, love having the physical product in my hands. If you cant make it to our Sydney store, we can post out, fast, cheap and reliable.


  • NegativeZero
    April 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Picked up a new 3DS (gave up on my US one for various reasons) from Amazon UK with Fire Emblem and Luigi’s Mansion, arrived yesterday. No stock dramas. However I had ordered Monster Hunter 3 as well and that only came back into stock with them yesterday after a couple of weeks or so being out of stock.

    These stock issues aren’t the only cases I know of. Last year when I got my US 3DS I ordered it with FF Theatrhythm and Rhythm Thief. Both of them went out of stock very quickly and I had to have a partial order shipped because I gave up waiting. Theathythm was eventually re-printed but Rhythm Thief doesn’t seem to have been, though I did manage to secure a copy a couple of weeks ago after a very long wait.

    In Japan, I know they had massive issues making enough stock to meet demand for Animal Crossing, and I imagine the same happened for Tomodachi Collection too.

    Nintendo are the only one manufacturing the cartridges for these games. My suspicion is they have fairly limited production capacity and so there’s a fairly significant lead time for ordering reprints. If a game exceeds sales expectations or sells out its supply, it may take a while for free production capacity to be available to print more. That would certainly explain Fire Emblem – it’s been vastly more successful than Nintendo would have anticipated based off the sales of every game in the franchise previously.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some truth to the conspiracy theory, that Nintendo may be making slightly less of some games than their sales estimates might suggest they should make, with the hope that it’ll drive eStore sales. Personally I’d probably have gotten some of these games digitally as a result of the shortages, but Nintendo’s awful system of tying your purchases to your system directly instead of to your account really gives me pause there.

  • Tyrus
    April 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

    This problem also hit Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate; my local EB only got 2 copies outside of pre-orders. Luigi’s Mansion 2 was impossible to find as well, one local Target staff member told me they only got three copies in despite heaps of promotional boxes being set up.

    I struggled to find a physical copy of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in the days following its release as I (stupidly) assumed it wouldn’t sell out and that Nintendo Australia would push it. I ended up having to buy the digital copy, which is priced higher than the physical retail release and unable to be shared with family members.

    I pre-ordered Fire Emblem: Awakening to avoid the same problem, but plenty of my local shops have already sold out on this game. It’s only a matter of time.

    What’s going on, NoA?

  • Reece
    April 24, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Hey Wayne, I work at The Gamesmen Penshurst, we have local Australian stock, very limited, selling extremely well, but we still got it I hate the idea of eShop as well, love having the physical product in my hands. If you cant make it to our Sydney store, we can post out, fast, cheap and reliable.


  • Reece
    April 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Sadly yes.. doing our best to get more

  • j-dude
    April 24, 2013 at 11:19 am

    try getting it online like ozgameshop.

    looks like nintendo australia is experimenting with us to go digital.

    with rip-off prices, no way! i’d rather go 100% import.

  • Mankey
    April 24, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Speaking to staff at multiple EBgames in Melbourne I have heard that they have issues ordering more stock. The Swanston St store that has the Nintendo Experience had to take stock allocated to other stores simply to meet demands. Their head office either can’t or wont give them more stock.

    Whatever the reason for the shortages I dont think its the retailers doing. Either its intentional by Nintendo or Nintendo has manufacturing issues.

  • Paul
    April 24, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Tried finding Fire Emblem on the Saturday and Big W at Pakenham said they hadn’t recieved any stock although due to it being a Saturday release they likely hadn’t unpacked it, the next day every store I went to nearby were also sold out, it was only asking at the counter at Big W Fountain Gate that the guy looked at their stock and said they had some and it had previously been put out on the shelves but they were told to put it away again so I had to convince him the release date was the 20th so I could even get a copy. Luigi’s Mansion I was able to find in store at release, Monster hunter 3 I was able to order online through JBs fortunately. Now just hoping Nintendo Australia has the same three games for a free game deal :p

  • Leiigh
    April 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Where I am there is only one of each retail store (with the exception of EB and JB, there are 3 EBs and 2 DSE/JBs).

    If I could go into each and every one and – on there being none advertised on the shelf – ask about each one’s availability, and when said there are none, try and order them – well it’d be interesting to hear how long each one takes to get stock.

    That second floor of EB Swanston Street in Melbourne – that Nintendo Floor, that’d be one place they’d listen surely….

  • arrjayjee
    April 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I would be buying all my games on the eShop if Nintendo could sort out the “if you lose your console you lose all your games forever” deal. Let me tie my games to my Nintendo account. There’s no way I’m buying a console and spending full retail price on each game on the off chance I lose it all in one accident.

  • DaveJ
    April 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Fire Emblem. Sold out in Melbourne CBD, and Malvern.

    Ra ra ra.
    I won’t be going eshop though. They’re not getting the satisfaction, and it’s too expensive for DD anyway.

  • Aspirety
    April 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Um, what Nintendo account? All existing Nintendo accounts are restricted to the system they were made on. There’s no universal Nintendo account. Club Nintendo doesn’t count.
    I dislike the situation as much as anyone, but it isn’t that easy.

  • drew
    April 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    On the day that Luigi’s mansion went on sale I went to the local JB HiFi in southland, victoria and they had one copy left. it was late afternoon so no idea how many were around from the morning.
    With Fire emblem though i went to an eb games on the monday after it went on sale and they seemed to have plenty of stock so it could be a regional based issue.

  • Jargy_Dsorrow
    April 24, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    When i picked up my Pre-ordered Fire Emblem at one of my local EBs they said only 2 people (including myself) had pre-ordered and there was no copies on the shelves.

    I have only spotted Luigi’s Mansion 2 in person once at Big W they had three copies.

  • Dash135
    April 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    When I was confirming retail cost of Fire Emblem: Awakening, JB Hi-Fi Camberwell told me that I should probably preorder the game if I wanted it, because they were only getting 8 copies in. They said it was because of supply problems with Nintendo. I did end up preordering at a JB closer to where I live, and got it with no problems on launch day.
    One thing that’s interesting is that JB only took $6 off the RRP with Fire Emblem. Usually it’s closer to $10-$15 off. One theory I came up with was that since they’re not getting as many copies in, they don’t get as much of a discount for buying in bulk. Because JB are huge and always get heaps of copies, I’d say they’d get a discount and be able to pass that on. Less units -> less discount to pass on. What do you think?

  • laharl1313
    April 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Still haven’t seen any copies of Monster Hunter for either 3DS or Wii U in my local area. The other games seem in short supply too, though I snagged a copy of Luigis easily enough on launch day at EB.

    Surely Nintendo wouldn’t force people to buy digital, would they? Surely it would hurt their bottom line – what about all the uninformed parents that buy retail games on a whim for little Billy and Susie? I bet there are a heap of 3DS game purchasers that don’t even realise you can download games, let alone most likely have to buy a larger SD card too.

    Stock shortages do seem really common lately though and having to preorder just to ensure getting a physical copy simply sucks. I hope the situation doesn’t get worse.

    April 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Personally I like DD, it’s just easier having all your games there ready to play.

    The theory of Nintendo restricting retail stock to push DD would be plausible IF Nintendo AU have been advertising the eShop. But I haven’t seen any local advertisements for it?

  • Ambercrystal
    April 24, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I have seen Luigi’s Mansion 2 in stores (last week I think it was), but went to my local EB and JB yesterday to buy it and they are not in stock, which is frustrating, because I was really looking forward to playing it. This has never happened before, and it has prompted me to preorder Animal Crossing: New Leaf, for fear of it happening again.
    I live in Macquarie Park, so Macquarie Centre doesn’t have them in stock at the moment.

  • Psider
    April 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I was just in Dungeon Crawl and they said they are trying to get stock for all 3 and having difficulty getting any copies. JB Elizabeth had “pre-order round 2 Luigi’s Mansion” signs up a couple of weeks ago, but now I can’t find any advertising for that game, and no sign at all of the other 2 in the last couple of weeks.

    If DD was about $20 cheaper I’d consider it, but not at RRP, which the stores almost always discount anyway.

  • Hasquarl
    April 25, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Spoke to my local Nintendo rep the other day. Monster Hunter 3 on 3DS is not getting another production, so once the game is sold out everywhere, that’s it. Digital only.

    Luigi’s Mansion is due for a restock in mid-May, so the next few weeks might be a struggle to find it.

    No word on Fire Emblem yet.

    Just a heads up for everyone who wants Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins, we were only sent very limited copies of the game. If you want to pick one up, pop a preorder down or go in early on Saturday.

    I work at an EB Games in Melbourne.

  • Ray
    April 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    This issue can be extended to Wii U games. However with Wii U there also appears to be a lot of cancellations.

  • kuzi
    April 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Suprisingly in Brisbane City, I have found a handful of Luigis Mansion 2 copies still available.

    There are about 5 copies at the Queen St MacArthur Central store.

    There are about 5 copies at the Albert St store.

    And ….. one copy of Fire Emblem Awakening at the Adelaide St store.

    Get on the phone ASAP. Store closes at 9pm its now 8.15 local time.

  • Tom
    April 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I’m in the ACT and there have definitely been issues here. I don’t have a 3DS but I was interested in checking out Fire Emblem. As far as I can tell it’s out of stock in Civic completely. A friend at work wanted MH3U, but ended up buying it from ozgameshop.

    At least the eShop does exist. In the old days, stuff would simply be unattainable. (ie. I remember trying to get Ikaruga for the GC)

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