Nintendo's DS owned the lion's share of the portable console gaming market in 2011. Sony's PlayStation Portable was a distant second. But that market was changing rapidly, thanks to the rise in popularity of games for smartphones and tablets [source: Reisinger]. But Nintendo had a plan in place to create what it saw as the next big step in portable gaming -- a glasses-free 3-D version of the popular console.
Released worldwide in March 2011, the 3DS carried a suggested retail price of $250. But at first, despite the hype, the device's sales didn't meet the company's expectations [source: Kohler]. And then in August, Nintendo dropped the price to $170. Sales immediately picked up [source: Schreier]. Once Nintendo offered a new game just in time for holiday sales, "Super Mario 3D Land," the title became the fastest-selling of its portable games ever and pushed 3DS sales even more [source: Sherr].
The Nintendo 3DS shows us that pre-release hype isn't an accurate predictor of how a gadget will do when it hits the streets. Our next gadget may be a victim of the same phenomenon.