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Nintendo DSi ships 170,000 units at launch

Strong sales for Nintendo DS upgrade in Japan

Sales of Nintendo's DSi, the latest revision of its popular handhand gaming device, totalled 170,779 units during its first two days on sale, according to an estimate from Japan's Enterbrain.

The device, the first refresh to the Nintendo DS line for two years, went on sale on Saturday at the start of a three-day holiday weekend in Japan. It's been restyled from the DS Lite and has a slightly larger screen and a digital still camera. It is also thinner -- but lacks a cartridge slot for running older GameBoy software. It carries a retail price of ¥16,800 (£107) in Japan.

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Many shoppers avoided long queues for the device by reserving a unit prior to its Saturday launch, and some stores only had enough stock to cover those reservations. Queues formed at other retailers, but nothing like those typically seen for a game hardware launch, where manufacturers try to maximise anticipation and media coverage with special events and early morning launches.

The Nintendo DSi was launched to stoke domestic demand for the handheld platform, which has seen sales drop as penetration increases. Total sales of Nintendo DS handhelds, including the original DS and DS Lite, stood at 23.6 million units as of the end of October - which works out to roughly one for every fifth person in Japan.

No date for a European launch of the Nintendo DSi has been provided but it is expected to happen next year. Enterbrain publishes local gaming magazine Famitsu and its sales estimates, which are based on point-of-sales system data from 3,500 retailers of computer game software and hardware, are generally regarded in the gaming industry as reliable.


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