The whole laptop numbers thing seems wrong in my opinion. That would mean almost as many people bought those laptops as people who bought 3ds for the month.
On top of that the same deal was on here in the UK and didn't see a bump.
Free consoles are given out all the time. You can get them with tvs, with subscriptions to things like gas, insurance etc, can get them with phone contracts and so on. I doubt very much 100k-200k were because of that deal.
i'm not very confident in this number but i google it and there is a number floating out there that dell sells ~700,000 computers a year just in the US. that means an monthly average of 58,333. The deal was valid for HP computers too. i dunno, it is circumstantial evidence but the size of the bump seems to be on the same order of computers sold.
But you also need to be a student and have valid ID, and the offer was for $700 laptops plus.
Which explains why it was only a ~100k bump from this promotion for Dell/HP/others and not a million unit bump.
You'd be very surprised at how many students are buying college laptops for the next school year around now, and quite often for much more than $700. This number doesn't surprise me at all, and could even have been much higher. Throw in this deal and a $700 purchase gets you $1000 worth of product so it's a win win!
Also, to the UK portion, how do you know there was no bump? Did the UK's version of NPD release figures already to show no bump, or are you just going off of VGChartz or other tracking services?