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Nintendo DS sales figures in line with GBA launch

Innovative new handheld matches success of predecessor, with a million units sold.

The latest entry to the handheld console market, the Nintendo DS, is enjoying global sales figures broadly in line with its predecessor, the Game Boy Advance, with over a million units sold worldwide so far.

The latest figures from Japan show that around half a million DS consoles were sold in the four days since launch, with estimates ranging from Nintendo's figure of 513,000 units sold through down to Media Create's estimate of 468,900 units.

Business newspaper the Nikkei Industrial Daily brings the two sets of figures together, explaining that around 460,000 consoles are in the hands of consumers, while a further 50,000 have been reserved but not yet collected from retailers.

In North America, over half a million units of the DS were sold in its first week at retail, so combined with the Japanese figures, the new console has already got a global installed base of over a million units.

This is in line with the 2001 launch of the Game Boy Advance, which sold around 530,000 units in its first week in the Japanese market, and 540,000 in its first week in the United States - only slightly ahead of the figures for the DS, although its shipment figures were also slightly larger.

Meanwhile, shortages of Sony's PlayStation Portable are already beginning to hit home in Japan, with the vast majority of retailers no longer able to take preorders ahead of Sunday's launch of the console.

Most retailers reportedly had queues exceeding the size of their launch allocations when they opened pre-orders, and were forced to turn customers away. Sony expects to ship only 200,000 units of the PSP at launch, with a further 300,000 expected by the end of the year.

The company claims to be focusing its manufacturing efforts on the new slimline PS2 console, which is in short supply at retail in both North America and Europe - with shortages believed to have knocked week to week sales of the console down by around 90 per cent last week in the UK.

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