Nintendo had a banner year, and wants you to know it

Well, the numbers are in and it’s time to start bragging. Even though its sales dipped through 2010, Nintendo still says it sold the most consoles during the entire year.

The Nintendo DS, despite having the oldest hardware of any system on the market, was the best-selling video game device, raking in 8.5 million unit sales in 2010. That’s less than it has done in previous years, but still enough to place it at the top of the list.

In second place was the Wii, with 7 million units. Again, it’s done better before, but that’s still enough to beat out the PS3, Xbox 360, and PSP.

Total lifetime sales for the Nintendo DS now tops 47 million units. That, of course, includes the original DS, the DS Lite, the DSi, and the DSi XL. Although the company has continued to introduce new versions of the device, it considers them all to be the same. Some may have issues with that, since the DSi hardware is slightly different and there are games that only work on DSi platforms, not the DS or DS Lite.

Nevertheless, where that isn’t an issue is with the Wii. The innards of that console have never changed, and Nintendo has now sold more than 34 million of those.

“Nintendo has sold more game systems than anyone else for five years running. Of the quarter billion hardware systems sold in the United States during the past 10 years, Nintendo sold more than half,” said Nintendo communications director Charlie Scibetta in a statement.

Despite this positive press release Nintendo issued, it has reason to worry. It can’t stay at the top of the game forever, and it’s losing more momentum than Sony or Microsoft. It hopes to put a freeze on that decline when it launches the 3DS system later this year. It will be the first brand new video game platform from a major hardware manufacturer in more than four years.