Yesterday, industry stat-trackers NPD Group loosed its monthly sales dump. While the industry overall saw continued dramatic sales growth, up some 40 percent year over year thanks in no small part to Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV and Nintendo's Mario Kart Wii, one noticeable drop-off was immediately apparent. A far cry from the nearly 600,000 units in February and 700,000 units in March, Nintendo's stalwart portable the DS managed only 415,000 systems in April.
While Nintendo hasn't offered an explanation for the decline, the system maker has taken predictable steps to rekindle interest in the best-selling device. Nintendo said today that the metallic rose DS, previously released as a part of a limited-edition Black Friday bundle with Nintendogs, would become a standard, stand-alone color choice.
The metallic rose DS Lite joins the portable's 2006 launch hue polar white, as well as the systematically rolled-out onyx and coral pink, and the two-tone crimson/onyx and cobalt/black. (A limited-edition gold DS bundled with The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass was released alongside the metallic rose bundle last year.)
Nintendo has tapped a handful of celebrity talent to promote metallic rose's arrival as a standard offering. Beginning May 19, Ugly Betty starlet America Ferrera and American Idol alum Carrie Underwood will flaunt the new shade of pink in a TV ad campaign. The publisher also said Liv Tyler would plug the crimson/onyx DS Lite in upcoming television spots, much like Nicole Kidman did in Europe last year.
The metallic pink Nintendo DS Lite is expected to be in stock at retailers later this month.