Nintendo DSi makes a big splash in the US; 435,000 sold in first week

The first quarter of 2008 was rough on the typically hardy gaming industry but following a 17 percent decline in overall sales, there is a bright spot for one of the big three console companies as Q2 kicks off. Obviously, that company is Nintendo. Sure the Wii is still leading the pack when it comes to stationary consoles but the big news earlier this month was the arrival of the company’s latest portable gaming console, the Nintendo DSi. A substantial update from its little cousin the DS Lite, Nintendo’s DSi has been available in Japan for quite some time and finally made it to US shores last week. In its first full week of sales, Nintendo reports the handheld sold a remarkable 435,000 units. To put that in perspective, Nintendo moved just over 226,000 DS Lites in its first week of US availability. Bigger screens, dual cameras and a handful of photo manipulation tools highlighted in Nintendo’s supporting ad run apparently add up to big success. The NPD Group reports that Nintendo accounted for nearly 59 percent of all video game hardware sold in March — thanks to the DSi, expect that number to climb in April.

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