The US arm of massive, online retailer Amazon.com has discontinued their sale of the Nintendo 3DS. While the hardware is still purchasable on the Amazon marketplace, the orders are being filled by non-Amazon third parties, like Target.
As to why they've elected to stop selling Nintendo's latest 3D portable hardware… well, that's not so obvious. Amazon ran a notice on the item's page:
Item Under Review
While this item is available from other marketplace sellers on this page, it is not currently offered by Amazon.com because customers have told us there may be something wrong with our inventory of the item, the way we are shipping it, or the way it's described here. (Thanks for the tip!)
We're working to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
Writers and forum users around the net have been mulling over the list of potential reasons for Amazon to temporarily pull the plug on the 3DS. Some have citing shipping problems, while others have made note of the rub marks the bottom screen leaves on the top after the device is closed.
One NeoGAF user went to the lengths of contacting Amazon about the issue specifically. That person was kind enough to post a bit of that discussion in his thread. Here it is, according to the Amazon rep:
The flip-screen is loose when its opened, please inform them that Nintendo has confirmed as long as the upper screen locks into place, the unit is within Nintendo’s design specification. Customers can call 1-800-255-3700.
Nintendo is apparently aware of the issue. The hinge is designed to be loose. However, it's when the hinge doesn't click into place when fully closed or open that's apparently the problem.
Amazon will likely be selling the Nintendo 3DS again soon. However, if more comes from this that indicates there's a major problem with the hardware, we'll be sure to keep you updated.