Nintendo heralds record year in Europe

Wii sells 8.3 million across the continent in 2009; 11.2 million DS units shipped sets new hardware record for the region.

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Two years after the Nintendo DS broke the 10-million sales mark in Europe, Nintendo has announced that there are now 30 million copies of the handheld in the wild throughout the territory. 2008 saw 11.2 million DS Lites sold across the continent, which is more than any other console has ever shipped in a single calendar year, according to the Mario factory.

It wasn't too shabby a year for the Wii, either. The device sold 8.3 million units on the year, which is 58 percent more than in 2007. That number brought the install base up to 14.2 million, compared to 8 million for its nearest rival, Microsoft's Xbox 360, and approximately 7 million for Sony's PlayStation 3.

"The sales trend on both Wii and Nintendo DS...shows that more and more people in Europe are enjoying video games as part of their daily lives," said Laurent Fischer, Nintendo of Europe's managing director for marketing and public relations. "This proves that Nintendo's wish to expand the gaming population has strong potential in Europe."

2009 is shaping up to be an interesting year for the DS in Europe, with Rockstar's GTA: Chinatown Wars being confirmed as the first game for the handheld to receive an 18 rating from the British Board of Film Classification. Other news includes the DSi's arrival in the territory during the first half of the year, as well as the continued expansion of the console's nongaming software portfolio.

Asked by GameSpot what impact the DSi might have on sales during 2009, a Nintendo spokesman declined to comment, simply saying "We're not talking about the DSi right now."

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