updated 01:20 pm EST, Mon November 29, 2010
Nintendo sells 900K DS and 600K Wiis in one week
Nintendo today hoped to bring attention back to its own platform with claims of high sales during Thanksgiving week. Starting from November 21 and running through this past Sunday, the company shipped 900,000 DS, DSi and DSi XL systems as well as 600,000 Wii units. It credited the spike both to the usual Black Friday push as well as new system colors.
The company didn't, however, say whether or not either figure was a record for the week. Both are well above Nintendo's average sales results through the rest of the year, but the Japanese console maker has usually had its best sales in the last month of the year as parents buy gifts. Last year, Nintendo sold 3.31 million DS systems in December and 3.81 million Wiis, suggesting that Nintendo would need to maintain its DS sales rate for virtually the entire remainder of 2010 and might not match last year's performance with the Wii.
The release is partly fueled by the NPD Group's decision to withhold console sales data it made public, but it may also serve to stress Nintendo's claims to relevance in gaming. In addition to having to compete against the PlayStation Move and Microsoft's million-selling Kinect, Nintendo has seen its DS sales decline as some users have been switching to the iPod touch or iPhone.
Officially, Nintendo tried to deny any effect for the first few months of the year but gradually began taking a more public stance and suggested Apple was more dangerous than Microsoft to its console sales. The Xbox 360 has usually been the closest threat to the Wii, but the more modern Apple hardware has both replaced the DS for some as a regular gaming system and as a multi-role device that can handle media and the web where the DS usually falls short. Apple this summer shipped nine million iPods last quarter and 14.1 million iPhones, millions of which are likely to have been used for gaming.
Nintendo had been hoping to fuel its sales further with the 3DS, but it has been pushed to late winter and at close to $299 would no longer have a price advantage over even a 32GB iPod touch.