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Nintendo lauds 500,000 first-week DS sales

Shifts 90% of inital handheld console allocation

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Nintendo today ebulliently confirmed reports that the console company has sold more than half a million Nintendo DS handhelds in the US last week.

The spending spree saw all but ten per cent of the 550,000-odd $150 machines sent into Nintendo's US retail channels snapped up by buyers.

That statistic was enough for the company to announce it expects to sell 1m of the devices by the end of the year. Nintendo has also raised its fiscal year DS sales target from 4m to 5m. It has until the end of March 2005 to achieve that goal.

To put the demand shown for the console in some sort of context, Nintendo also sold over 800,000 GameBoy Advance and derivative consoles during the same period. The GBA and GBA SP have bigger software catalogues, of course, but the DS can also run all those titles. The DS numbers still show impressive early adopter take-up.

Nintendo is keen to talk up DS' success as it prepares to launch the handheld in its native Japan ahead of Sony's Japanese PlayStation Portable (PSP) launch in just over a week's time.

The DS is powered by twin ARM-based processors running at 67MHz and 33MHz, respectively, and contains 128MB of RAM. The two displays - the lower of which is touch-sensitive - operate at 256 x 192, a little better than the GBA's 240 x 160 panel. The DS will support wireless Internet access and multi-player gaming across an 802.11b Wi-Fi link.

Nintendo last week said it would announce European availability and pricing in January 2005. ®

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