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Playing by numbers: the rise and rise of gaming

Nintendo's DS has just notched up 100 million sales – just one of the statistics that reveal the commercial might of the video games market

Last week an unknown gamer somewhere in the world unpacked and fired up the 100 millionth Nintendo DS to be sold by the Japanese gaming giant. That's a hell of a lot of Dual Screen hand-held consoles – and sets the DS franchise apart as the fastest-selling system in gaming history. It took Nintendo more than 11 years to sell 100 million Game Boys. The touchscreen DS, which will appear next month in its third incarnation, the DSi, did it in just four years and three months (that's a rate of 45 sales every minute). It's a measure of the might of the games industry that Nintendo can knock out sleek slabs of hinged plastic at such a furious pace, but such is the feverish dedication of gamers that the industry is full of jaw-dropping figures...

Click on the image to see the figures.