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.


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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Avatar image for andrew_ribbons

They can make a good console, shame they struggle to make good games, or even get the published... I will never get a Wii, the idea's great and fun sounding, but almost nothing uses it to it's full potential. It's certainly not worth £180, considering the 60Gb 360 Pro is £170... I have so much fun on my 360, SO much even, that i don't feel the need for anything else :D

Avatar image for Hugomanen

technically inferior? have you ever heard about the wiimote and nunchuck? Technical stuff is more than just putting in more cpu's

Avatar image for AzureWind213

Technically inferior, sure. More fun? A much larger, non-traditional gaming demographic shouts a resounding "YES". See the article for Net Income... ^_^

Avatar image for Chris_555_TK

See what happens when you have a self imposed shortage for a technically inferior system? You sucker people into thinking that they're getting a great deal by making them go out and hunt for it.

Avatar image for Rect_Pola

Only 3.5 billion, how will they make ends meet now? Breaking the record is cool. One can only hope the DSi won't have an exclusive format. Besides it counting as part of the same line, I really don't want to replace my lite if I don't have to.

Avatar image for CamiKitten

yay for the ds ~ and boo for the dsi lol

Avatar image for parmesanhorn

First let me say I think Big N deserved this. I certainly like the PS, though I can't afford #3, And when it comes to Microsoft, I think the X360 is the finest they ever made - yeah, it has hardware issues, but MS IMO handled it way customer-friendlier than Sony did with their at least as broken PS2. Nevertheless, decades of highest quality hard- and software by Nintendo leave a bias...sitll I can't stress enough I'm not anti-the others (both do a nice job this generation), but I love Nintendo. Second, let me share some thoughts on the Wii and "hardcore-gaming": I've been around since the NES days, and I'd think I'm as much of a "hardcore" gamer (to use that stupid category) as anybody else. And that's why I wondered so much about self-proclaimed "hardcore" gamers already knowing Wii wasn't hardcore when the damn console first hit stores. I felt back then that Nintendo had well forged iron in the fire (our whatever that's called in English) - keep in mind MP3, Galaxy, SSBB and the likes weren't yet released - and hoped the (third party-)rest would come. However, with very few exceptions (of which Okami and even more NMH stand alone as truely magnificent games), the later never happened. And since the past summer, i suddenly find myself not knowing a single game Big N throws out near future I'll definitely buy. Which leaves me hoping the next 1000 brawls (SSBB, my friends, is a hardcore-class of it's own, btw) will be as joyful as have been the previous 1000, and that next years Mad World, NMH2, Conduit and HotD:Overkill are more than just good games. Apart from that? I don't know...while I overall agree with EnigManic, I've honestly (and that's not easy to admit) been left seeking for anythin positive by Big Ns showing at this years E3. But wee'll see... to emphasize that impression once more: I'm absolutely convinced the whole casual gamer thing was started by diehard Nintendo-haters and (10-year old) people that have no idea about videogaming, but became - aided by the relative techincal weaknesses of Wii - a dominant myth already before Galaxy was out. And that's how it happened i.e. the GTA franchise completely ignores a console selling more than all of it's competitors - and this is a prime example, 'caus if you take GTA IV, subtract High def (sure, would have made necessary another engine, but: sales numbers!) and probably one or two effects, there is no way you'll convince me Wii couldn't do it. Plus: aiming would finally really work. All in all, to finally reach an end, it's a new version of the same old story bout the kiddie consoles Big makes. Problem this time might be Big N buys into it. thanks for reading this unstructured, thinking-in-progress mess!

Avatar image for frazzle00

@DaSorcerer77 Actually we are both wrong and kejigoto is right. Out of 22 publications surveyed, SMG was voted GOTY by 9 of those publications, Bioshock by 4 of those publications and Call of Duty 4 by 3 of those publications. So my apologies to kejigoto for disputing his statement with regards to this. However all my other statements stand, and as I said before 1 game a year, no matter how great it is (and SMB is great), isn't enough for me. In case you don't believe me about the GOTY survey here is the link: << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for jmartin1016

Nintendo's so rich.... more hardcore games please.

Avatar image for especensor

you gotta hand it to nintendo for knowing what their doing. financially, at least.

Avatar image for *Lightchaos-206931739271909150

wow wii sales are really high. congrats to nintendo!

Avatar image for 0B3L15k_o_Li9hT

I would be more interested to see what Nintendo could quote for the Wii's software sales, and see what excuses they could offer for having the WORST line-up of games of any current console. I'm a total N fanboy, and I can count Metroid, Super Mario, Zelda, No More Heroes and Warioware as the best games on the system... but I'm afraid to say that I was actually pretty disappointed to some degree by all of them. I do hope someone can convince me that the console isn't a total waste of time, and that there are some genuinely strong titles coming out in the near future, but in all honesty I don't think you'll be able to. Bottom line: it's just not a console for gamers.

Avatar image for Stonetowerghost

Never thought I'd see the day...

Avatar image for LosDaddie

Congrats, Nintendo!! :D It's GREAT to see you back on top. You deserve it! :)

Avatar image for gpgn001

nintendo wii and ds sell alot becuz its for kids im not sure u want to give ur 7 year ikd gta4 with a ps3 or psp with gta liberty city stories and 360 and ps3 are better then wii and psp is better ds just ds for kids parents like buying it for kids think about it and sony not trying to take turf lol hannify

Avatar image for hannify

They still totally rein the handhelds and good for them. Not smelly sony trying to take there turf

Avatar image for DaSorcerer77

@ frazzle00 Most video games sites and magazines voted Bioshock as game of the year 2007. That's false. And you know it. If you actually want to mention a game that won many awards as well, I think the game you're looking for is COD4

Avatar image for flyingteddy

most people are saying that the DS sells well due to its price but i kind of found it expensive in comparison to the PSP. The DS seems to have been £99 forever, while the PSP has come down several times and had improvement revisions. I only paid about £25 more for my PSP and certainly in terms of technology and build quality it seems to be a better deal. I still like both though.

Avatar image for Micropixel

You've gotta hand it to Nintendo, they've clearly got a handle on things. They are dominating this generation.

Avatar image for hassy94

Adam the nerd read properly, the GBA sold 81.36 million systems. The DS sold 84.33 million systems (and 454.63 million GAMES) So it's not a complete thrashing, yet.

Avatar image for EnigManic

Nintendo's working on it. Don't forget that their next console is gonna have next-gen graphics and a hard drive. And they're already working on a new Pikmin.

Avatar image for Anput_Destroyer

good on them. The Wii or DS arn't really my cuppa-tea but i say good on them. They marketed their product well and found a particular audience and i think they have achieved what they set out to. Although gameswise, the Wii is HORRID! You have a few games that are good but the rest are either shovelware or continuous sequels of Nintendo franchises that have been running since before the dinos died out. They need some new games that ARN'T part of a franchise. They need to be STARTING franchises. Games like littlebigplanet, lotr conquest and SH:Homecoming are either new franchises, or an already running series that is getting turned on its head and changed completely-for the better. If they do this i think i will have more respect for the console and others will too. Peace.

Avatar image for Trindris

"only--only--expects a annual net income of ¥345 billion ($3.5 billion)" Those poor bastards.

Avatar image for EnigManic

Thanks. And let's not forget metroid Prime3. Also Wii sports. I know, it may sound like shovelware, but that damn boxing game is a ton of fun at parties, despite the cheesy graphics.

Avatar image for hatieshorrer

@EnigManic Agreed ever sense the success of Mario Party 8 which had a production budget about one fifth of the five star PS3 and X360 games that were released third party developers have been stereo typing the Wii as a casual gaming console and releasing a flood of party games. Nintendo has also released hardcore games such as SSBB and Mario Cart Wii with online competitive gameplay and, has made nintendo games the most sold in the entire world.

Avatar image for henrik02

Meh, no wonder, who wouldn't pick a DS instead of a GBA? I wonder what will the next thing after DS?

Avatar image for EnigManic

GabrielN - Thank you! Everyone needs to grow up and stop blaming Nintendo for the shovelware. It's the third-party developers who make those crappy games just to make a quick buck.

Avatar image for Shadowflame291

So? Sales don't mean it's better. BTW I hate the Wii too. I sold mine for a PS3. Best thing I've ever done.

Avatar image for IXIWhistIXI

God I hate the wii... anybody want to buy this hunk of junk from me?

Avatar image for firehawk998

I really liked NINTENDO DS but I hate the Wii. There I said it. Now I am a pariah.

Avatar image for GabrielN

That's 84,33 million DS's, 81,36 million GBA's and 454,63 million DS games.

Avatar image for Adam_the_Nerd

That's crazy. nearly 450 million and the GBA had the "alltime record" of 80 million? Wow... what a huge difference!

Avatar image for GabrielN

Nintendo has released plenty of great Wii games. The ones to blame for the relative lack of good games are the third party developers who mostly see the Wii's success with the casual crowd as a chance to make a quick buck on shovelware instead of making anything legitimately worth playing, even by informed casual standards.

Avatar image for Nintendo_Man

I must admit i am surprised at both the Wii and DS sales. I was expecting more with the DS at 95m and Wii at 45m at the end of 2008 (but Nintendo failed to get the shipments up).

Avatar image for Jay2800

the wii is a piece of crap!!! i got smart and got rid of mine for a 360!

Avatar image for BlueKazoo20

Seriously. Was there ever any doubt? Nintendo freakin' OWNS the handheld market. The PSP seems to be the only portable to give it a challenge, and even it's not doing so hot. When it comes to handheld gaming, you just can't beat Nintendo.

Avatar image for Pete5506

NIce Nintendo, go Wii

Avatar image for bugsnaruto

Wii sucks DS rocks PS3 ftw

Avatar image for fon1988

Good job Nintendo =)

Avatar image for drunkenmoron

And everyone was saying that the PSP was the DS killer and that the Wii would fail. Wonder if Nintendo hater ever get tired of being wrong

Avatar image for HUNTER-VENOM

if you look there's a bunch of great games coming out finally like monster hunters 3 and a ton more way to go Nintendo!

Avatar image for PandaBear86

The DS is awesome and I love my DS Lite (it was the first gaming handheld I have ever owned). I remember back when I was a kid, I used to be jealous of all the other kids who had Gameboy's and Gameboy Colors, and hoped one day I could buy a Nintendo handheld for myself. The DS trumps any previous handheld ever made by Nintendo, so I'm happy :)

Avatar image for eggmcmuff

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The DS is the greatest system of the current generation. It also deserves to be mentioned alongside PS1, PS2 and NES in any discussion about which system is the best and/or most important in the history of this industry. Just one fool's opinion...

Avatar image for BloodMist

Whatever you say about Nintendo, man, there's no denying they are seriously kickin ass.

Avatar image for frazzle00

@kejigoto Taste in games is subjective so I am not going to argue with you about that. After all everyone is entitled to their own taste in games. I do take issue with some of the stuff you said, which to me, can objectively be said to be untrue: 1) Nintendo had Game of the Year last year Most video games sites and magazines voted Bioshock as game of the year 2007. 2) PS3 and 360 mostly rely on multiplatform games at this stage in the game....the Wii has its own unique line up of games I think this can be said about the Wii as well. There are plenty of multi-platform titles on the Wii as well as PS2 ports. And like I said previously, when it comes to multi-platform titles the Wii version is usually the worst choice, with only a token attempt at motion controls thrown in. If you don't believe me there are plenty of Gamespot reviews that say likewise. The only notable exception that I can remember recently is Pro Evolution 2008. Let's also not forget that you are discounting plenty of exclusives on both the PS3 and the 360. 3) but both Sony and Microsoft are attempting to mimic Nintendo at this point with HOME and the new avatar system for the 360. Firstly I don't think Home is anything like what the Wii currently offers, or will offer in the foreseeable future (unless Nintendo blindsides us all). Secondly avatars have been around for a long time before Nintendo came up with Miis. It's not that I don't appreciate your opinion. Nowadays it is pretty hard to have an Internet discussion without it devolving into semi-literate fanboy raving. I like Nintendo too. I just don't like the path they've chosen with the Wii. I honestly see it as pandering to the lowest common denominator, and I don't think it's going to be good for the gaming world in the long run.

Avatar image for FidelSarcastro

With the price of the DS dropping to a reasonable price I am not surprised that people are taking up the system. As far as the Wii it also doesnt come as a surprise. I mean they got it right, they did everything out of the gate that Sony should have done with the PS3. Keep the price reasonable and like a pusher give the junkies just enough to keep em wanting more (my walmart sill limits customers to 1 unit per person).

Avatar image for Kenji_Masamune

yeah Nintendo hasn't had any real 3rd party support since the SNES. It shows that almost 90% of it's top 20 selling games are produced by Nintendo and either have Mario, Zelda, Metroid or Pokemon in it. It's not bad, the company is still catering to people like me 10 years ago.

Avatar image for t37nguye

Good job Nintendo! Now please invest some of that profit money back and make more games for the Wii.

Avatar image for justin4444

Imagine GBA era don't have a competitor but now DS-PSP era the DS outsell the GBA? lol thats amazing

Avatar image for thps48

This was obviously a given. People said sticking an extra screen on the GBA was a giant gimmick, but those people weren't aware that a large percentage of consumers are easier to read than domestic animals who will buy any fancy-pants gizmo with fun and wacky features that is launched straight into their bedroom window through the power of mass media. I guess I'm saying there are a slew of titles that use the DS's abilities to the fullest, but a good percentage of DS titles do suffer in terms of creative design if you would refer to Gamecock's **** games. In the last 2 years, and this year in particular, there hasn't been much I've done my best Ulmeyda impression over, so forgive me if I come off too strong.