Nintendo expects its 'biggest ever launch' with the new glasses-free 3D Nintendo 3DS this week, with over 140,000 pre-orders already having been made.

The Japanese gaming company expects to sell over 200,000 3DS units in the UK over the forthcoming launch weekend, which would make it the company's 'biggest ever launch' in the UK according to one Nintendo marketing exec.

3DS beats Wii and DS

Nintendo UK's marketing manager James Honeywell told MCV: "It's early days, but we do know that we've had record pre-orders, which suggests it's going to be our biggest-ever launch by some distance – with Wii we did 106,000 in the opening weekend and with DSi it was 90,000.

"How many people who haven't pre-ordered will go out this weekend and buy one? It's hard to say, but I guess we're looking at a total of comfortably over 150,000, if not more like 200,000."

He added: "Just based on the 140,000, that would already give us our biggest launch. Previously on Wii, we did just over 100,000 and on DSi we did around 90,000."

Honeywell is adamant that Nintendo will sell more 3DS consoles in the launch weekend than the total amount of 3D TVs sold in the UK over the last year.

"So we really are bringing 3D to the masses," added the Nintendo marketing man.

The Nintendo 3DS launches in the UK this Friday, with a number of high street retailers and supermarkets organising special midnight openings to celebrate the launch.

Via MCV and CVG