DS beats retail expectations in Japan

Double-screen handheld tops Nintendo's own predictions, selling nearly 500,000 units since its launch last week.


Already a success in the United States, the DS seems to have also taken Japan by storm. According to the Nikkei Industrial Daily, roughly the equivalent of Japan's Wall Street Journal, Nintendo has shipped approximately 510,000 of the dual-screen portables to stores. Of these, 460,000 have been sold, with another 50,000 preorders waiting to be picked up by consumers.

While impressive on their own, the Japanese DS sales figures pack an even greater punch when coupled with the American numbers. Since its stateside launch on November 21, the portable has also sold in excess of 500,000 during its first week on the market, according to a Nintendo statement issued last week. The company has not released subsequent figures.

However, according to industry sources, the DS's launch figures are much in line with those of the Game Boy Advance, which saw just slightly higher sales numbers when it launched in 2001. The GBA and its successor, the GBA SP, went on to become the best-selling handheld system of all time.

Of course, Nintendo has also had a near monopoly on the handheld market. Analysts are awaiting the impact Sunday's launch of the Sony PSP will have on DS sales numbers in Japan. GameSpot will be covering the PSP launch from Tokyo, and will have all the details on the new handheld beginning next week.

For more information on both the DS and the PSP, check out GameSpot Hardware's DS 101 feature and GameSpot News' own Sneak Peek at the PSP.

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