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Nintendo Ships 100 Million DS Units

This afternoon Nintendo said that it has shipped its 100 millionth DS system. Sorry, golden ticket not included.

There's no question that Nintendo rules the world when it comes to portable gaming, remaining undisputed on its throne of cash and yen since the original GameBoy first hit the market back in 1989... twenty years ago this April in Japan--August in North America. From monochrome graphics to full color visuals, from a greenish-yellow dark screen to a bright backlit screen, Nintendo has shaped and molded the portable gaming unit into the successful Nintendo DS system flying off store shelves today.

So what's so great about these things? They're portable, they're fun, and for the most part, they're somewhat cheap. Other competitors have tried to tackle the mammoth GameBoy/DS beast, namely Atari, Sega, Sony and a few others, only to crumble in defeat at the sheer awesomeness of Nintendo's amazing sales figures. Today's announcement is no exception: Nintendo knows how to work the portable gaming business, and does it exceedingly well.

This afternoon, Nintendo reported that it shipped its 100 millionth DS system... 100 million units as of March 6. The overall number encompasses all three generations of the Nintendo DS since the franchise made its debut back in late 2004: the original "vanilla" version, the thinner yet yummier DS Lite, and the new DSi set to make an appearance next month in North America (but selling extremely well in Japan).

“Consumers have shown their love for Nintendo DS – 100 million times over,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “We are grateful that people of all ages continue to respond to our products, and we will continue to look for ways to please current gamers and create new ones.”

Featuring dual screens (DS), the Nintendo DS brought innovation and interactivity to portable gaming through its touch screen technology as well as voice recognition and its ability to connect to the Internet, opening up a whole new world of multiplayer interaction. With the release of the third incarnation--the DSi---next month, innovation and interaction will take a new leap forward by providing two cameras, the ability to record, manipulate, and play sound files, and the ability to access the Wii Store online, allowing gamers to purchase and download titles straight to the hardware.

There's no question that sales figures will continue to rise next month and beyond. Unless a Nintendo competitor catches on and creates an innovative, interactive, and fun portable gaming device, the DS line of products will continue to dominate the industry. Still, Apple may eventually pose a threat with its iPhone /iPod Touch, especially if AAA third-party developers take full advantage of the iPhone/iPod Touch technology.

John Carmack of id Software even commented on the device's overall abilities. "The iPhone, as a device, is in the same generation power-wise as the PS2 or Xbox," he said. "The graphics are a little lower but the RAM is a lot higher. … You could easily spend $10 million on an iPhone game, but the market just can’t support that yet."

For now, though, Nintendo will still rule the world, and consumers -those who can't get enough of portable gaming- will continue to eat up the new incarnations like a kid on candy store eating spree.

Do you own a GameBoy?