Nintendo DS on track to become best-selling games console ever

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The Independent Tech

The Nintendo DS is now the best-selling video games console in history -- at least in the UK -- according to new data released by GfK-ChartTrack. Its records show that during the 47th week of 2009 (i.e., between November 16 and 22) the DS reached a total of 10.05 million units sold, in comparison to the PlayStation 2's lifetime sales of 10.02 million to date.

(Relaxnews) -

The Nintendo DS is now the best-selling video games console in history - at least in the UK - according to new data released by GfK-ChartTrack. Its records show that during the 47th week of 2009 (i.e., between November 16 and 22) the DS reached a total of 10.05 million units sold, in comparison to the PlayStation 2's lifetime sales of 10.02 million to date.

Nintendo's dual-screened handheld is well on track to repeat this feat worldwide. According to their own internal sales figures, total global sales equated to 113.5 million since its 2004 release up to November 2009, whilst Sony confirmed in August that the PlayStation 2 was up to a total of 138 million in the nine years since its year 2000 release.

With a total population of approximately 60 million, DS ownership in the UK could be as high as 1 in 5, though Nintendo's canny marketing and successive hardware revisions mean that a proportion of owners are likely to be in possession of more than one machine.

Nintendo have now released three separate redesigns of its successful base model in the five years since its 2004 Japanese and North American launch. 2006's DS Lite is, as one would expect, a smaller and lighter version of the DS, with a brighter screen and enhanced battery life. The DSi that launched in Japan later on in 2008 and then worldwide in early 2009 features two on-board cameras and allows access to Nintendo's online store.

The latest version of the DS known as the LL launched in Japan in November 2009, and is due in North America and Europe as the XL sometime in 2010. Contrary to the usual path of technological improvement, the LL is bigger than any of the previous DS sizes, both in terms of screen size, overall form factor, and also the shape of its touch screen styluses, which more closely resemble pens rather than the traditional q-tip shape.

Handheld console rival Sony has also been busy improving the PlayStation Portable since its introduction in 2004, firstly with a thinner, lighter version in 2007, a new screen design and microphone for 2008, and then most recently in 2009 had a total refit with the PSPGo, dumping the disc drive in favor of digital downloads, shrinking the screen just ever so slightly and engineering it to slide out of the main console housing, and squishing the overall length to a more handy pocket-size.

Still, it seems that the PlayStation 3's revision will be Sony's main source of pride for 2009. The PSP lags behind its DS rival at 56 million sales, whilst the PS3 has recieved a sharp increase in attention following its reissue as a slimmed down, lower priced model in September, which shifted 1 million units in the following month. Many commentators feel that a similar price-cut could do the same for the PSP Go.

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