Nintendo DS tops 50 million units sold in US

The Nintendo DS is the best-selling video game system of all time in the US, recently passing the milestone-worthy sales tally of 50 million units.

The DS first came on the market in 2004, and even though Nintendo continued to release new versions of it – the DS Lite, the DSi, the DSi XL – the company lumped everything together as the same system.

As such, the amazing 50 million sales number may be artificially inflated. It could be argued that the DSi was a new system since it had completely new hardware and software functionality, and there were numerous games for DSi that were not compatible with the previous DS units.

Nevertheless, they were perhaps more the same than different, and so over the last seven years Nintendo has managed to reach an impressive milestone.

The 3DS, which launched early this year, was the system that finally replaced the DS and will start a new product family. However, the 3DS has faced sluggish sales and is completely out of whack with Nintendo’s history of dominating the portable gaming market.

In addition to poor marketing, an almost pitiful launch lineup, and a rush to market that made the original 3DS units incomplete and only later patched with firmware updates, the 3DS faces a changing industry where iPhones and tablets are more exciting game platforms.

So for now, Nintendo wants to revel in the success that the DS managed to capture. The system still sold 145,000 units last month.