Pooches pack Nintendo's portable punch

DS outsells both PSP and PS2 combined in first week of Nintendogs release; Nintendo's handheld still on top a month later.

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Nintendogs, Nintendo's puppy-petting game, has helped bolster DS sales after a sluggish stretch brought on by the launch of Sony's own portable device, the PlayStation Portable. According to Media Create, the DS has been the best-selling piece of gaming hardware in Japan since the release of Nintendogs on April 21, outselling both the PlayStation 2 and the PSP. The only exception was the week of May 9, when overall game sales fell as Japanese workers returned to work after the golden week of holidays.

The Nintendo DS was trailing the PSP and PS2 the week before the release of Nintendogs, selling 21,698 units against 28,950 PSP units and 30,572 PS2 units. But when Nintendogs arrived, DS sales exploded to 96,191 units, outselling both the PSP (33,004) and the PS2 (33,080) combined. Sales of the DS are starting to settle down now, but as of the week of May 16, the DS continued to outsell both the PS2 and the PSP, selling 29,808 units, compared to 27,370 PSP units and 24,122 PS2 units.

Nintendogs is a virtual-pet game featuring real breeds of dogs. The game is sold in different editions, each housing roughly five types of puppies, from Chihuahuas to Labrador retrievers. As a virtual owner, gamers will pet their pooches using the stylus, order commands through the integrated microphone, and let their canines sniff other gamers' Nintendogs wirelessly.

Nintendogs is scheduled to roll over to the US on August 22. For more information, read how one GameSpot editor tussled with a disobedient Chihuahua in a hands-on preview.

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