Japanese buy 10 million DSes

The company that Mario built says its latest handheld is all the rage in Japan; sales buoyed by the recent release of the DS Lite.

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Nintendo announced today that Japanese sales of its DS handheld have passed the 10 million mark after just 20 months on the market--a new record for game console sales, the company claimed.

The handheld, which launched in December 2004, was Nintendo's bid to bring a wider range of age groups into the gaming fold with its "Touch Generation" titles like Brain Age and Nintendogs.

A good chunk of the sales of the DS are attributed directly to its revamped shell, the DS Lite, which saw long prereleases lines during its launch in March and moved 2.34 million units in April and June. Worldwide sales of the DS wonder have surpassed 20 million, while the recently released DS Lite sold nearly 600,000 units 19 days after its release in the United States.

Sales of the handheld don't appear to be slowing down much. Early last week, Nintendo announced that it expects to sell 17 million DSes worldwide during its current fiscal year, up from its previous projection of 16 million units. And the sales figures are more than merely boasting: The DS sales were a primary contributing factor to the company's first-quarter profit of $133.6 million.

Japanese newspaper Kyoto Shimbun reports that about 10 DS titles have gone platinum.

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