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Nintendo DS Shatters European Hardware Records

The first indications of the success of the Nintendo DS launch in Europe have appeared, with sales data for the UK launch showing the console has become the fastest selli...
The first indications of the success of the Nintendo DS launch in Europe have appeared, with sales data for the UK launch showing the console has become the fastest selling ever in the country. It beat both the records for the Game Boy Advance (67,000 units) and the Game Boy Advance SP (47,000 units) with projected sales of 87,000. The only irony is that the now second fastest selling console was the GameCube at 69,000 units, which has gone on to have a less than illustrious career in the country. (The higher price points of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox gave them debuts of only 46,000 and 52,000, respectively.) The Nintendo DS was helped by a much stronger launch line-up than North America, including first party Nintendo titles Wario Ware Touched!, Pokémon Dash and Polarium. Of the sixteen launch titles, twelve managed to chart in the sales top forty – of which more details can be found in this week's UK sales chart. Details of the console’s success in the rest of Europe are likely to be available in the next few days and weeks. However, the UK is traditionally a weak market for Nintendo, where even the Game Boy has enjoyed less success compared to most other territories around the world. If the DS proves to be as popular in more Nintendo-friendly countries such as Germany and France, then the company will have achieved a significant success. The impetus for Nintendo now, though, will be to ensure a steady stream of new titles – the lack there-of usually being seen as the single most obvious reason for the GameCube’s failure. However, with the PSP not expected to launch in Europe till at least July, it looks like Nintendo’s dominance of the European handheld market is secure for a while yet.

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