DS outsells GBA, Wii sales near 35M

More than 84 million handhelds sold as console's popularity continues unabated; Nintendo snips annual income forecast by 16 percent--but still projects $3.5 billion profit.

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For years, the Game Boy Advance had the distinction of being the best-selling portable game platform of all time. No longer. Today, Nintendo announced that its old-school handheld has been overtaken by its double-vision-stricken younger sibling, the DS. According to Nintendo, the handheld has sold 84.33 million units worldwide since being introduced in November 2004, generating a staggering 454.63 million in DS software sales. Since its debut in 2001, the Game Boy Advance has sold 81.36 million units.

Say hello to Nintendo's little friend.
Say hello to Nintendo's little friend.

Sales of Nintendo's Wii aren't exactly shabby either. Since its launch in November 2006, the plucky console has sold 34.55 million units. Of those, 10.1 million were bought during the first half of Nintendo's fiscal year, which ended on September 30. From January to the end of June, 81.41 million Wii games were purchased internationally, bringing the platform's cumulative software haul to a whopping 229.85 million units.

The DS and Wii sales figures were part of Nintendo's earnings report for the first half of its 2008 fiscal year. Income for that period totaled ¥836.9 billion ($8.85 billion), a 10.4 percent rise from the same period in 2007. Net income--otherwise known as "profit"--rose 9.4 percent year over year to hit ¥144.8 billion ($1.48 billion). The company called out such games as Wii Play, Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, Pokemon Platinum, and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness as best-sellers.

Unfortunately, Nintendo's cash-minting operation has been somewhat hamstrung by international exchange rates. So far this year, the Japanese yen has climbed 14 percent against the US dollar and 27 percent against the Euro, according to the Bloomberg news service. As a result, Nintendo is now cutting its full-year forecast by 16 percent, and now only--only--expects a annual net income of ¥345 billion ($3.5 billion) for its current fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2009.

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