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16m DS units sold - Nintendo

'Millions more' than PSP.

Nintendo has given itself a hearty pat on the back in recognition of its success with the DS handheld, quoting sales of 16 million units and claiming that it's shifted "millions" more than Sony's PSP.

During the company's pre-E3 press conference, which naturally focused heavily on the new Wii console, Nintendo was keen to reaffirm its strategy of introducing 'disruptive technology' - suggesting that the Nintendo DS is was the first true realisation of the company's vision, and a perfect example of getting things right.

Nintendo's senior VP, marketing and corporate communications, George Harrison took to the stage, and took a pop at Sony by stating that since the DS launch 18 months ago, "true gamers have bought into true hardware disruption and software disruption." He added: "It's a different approach to portable play."

"The DS launched at the end of 2004, and it did very well," Harrison continued. "Then the PSP arrived and some of you questioned whether we were up to the challenge. Once the early adopters had cleared away, it was clear that it was all about the games, as it always is," he concluded.

Just to prove the point, Harrison detailed figures for Nintendogs, citing 6 million sales worldwide in 13 months, before mentioning that the DS Wi-Fi service has reached 1.3 million users and provided over 40 million gameplay sessions since its launch.

With the Western launch of the brain training games, Nintendo hopes to duplicate the 5 million sales success it achieved in Japan, and early signs are apparently very good. The company is also preparing to launch the new DS Lite in a few weeks in North America, which it believes will be even more popular than the original handheld.

Looking ahead, Nintendo is confident that the best has yet to come, detailing a number of high profile titles including a new Mario game, Final Fantasy III and the DS exclusive Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass, before stating that there will be more than a hundred new games for the system by the end of the year.

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Paul Loughrey