In a triumph for innovation, the dual-screen Nintendo DS(TM) portable became America’s top-selling video game system of any type in June, according to independent sales numbers just released by the NPD Group. The introduction of the new DS Lite version, featuring a smaller profile and more brilliant display, boosted total sales to nearly 600,000 units, almost double that for any other game device, and alone represented more than a third of total industry system purchases for the month.
Beyond the unique technical coupling of dual screens, a touch screen, a microphone and seamless Wi-Fi play, DS popularity also is being propelled by a unique mix of software that appeals equally to mainstream players and those new to the category. “New Super Mario Bros.(R)” was the industry’s top-selling game for the second month in a row, with purchases of more than 450,000 units, while groundbreaking titles “Brain Age(TM): Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day” and “Big Brain Academy(TM)” combined to sell nearly 350,000 units. In addition, the unique “Nintendogs(TM)” titles combined to sell more than 100,000 units, 10 months after their introduction.
Nintendo(R) Wi-Fi Connection, a wireless gaming network exclusive to Nintendo DS, also now has achieved participation by 1.7 million discreet users worldwide in just eight months, an adoption rate far higher than any other game-play network to date. There’s currently a variety of Wi-Fi games to choose from including “Metroid Prime Hunters,” “Tetris DS,” “Animal Crossing:
Wild World” and “Mario Kart DS,” with “Star Fox Command DS,” “Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis” and “Clubhouse Games” launching in the months ahead. At 1.7 million people strong, if the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection community were a city, it would be the fifth largest in the United States, larger even than Philadelphia, Phoenix or San Diego.
“Nintendo DS is the only game system available a year ago that showed growth over the same period, and it did so in overwhelming fashion, with a leap of 426 percent,” says George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. “What we’re seeing is realization of our promise that Nintendo will bring gaming to the masses — whatever your taste or level of experience, we’ve got a system and a game for you.”
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