Additional Models: DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL
Release Year: 2004 (Japan, US), 2005 (Europe)
Sales To Date: Approx. 140million units worldwide
2010 was another solid year for the DS as it continued its dominance over the PSP for the fifth consecutive year. The launch of the gorgeous DSi XL helped to expand the DS’ audience even further and worldwide price drops for the DSi meant that the 6 year old handheld remained as popular as ever. Even the fact that the 3DS is a few months off hasn’t seemed to slow down the DS’ momentum with the handheld selling 900,000 units during Black Friday week alone! On the games front Nintendo kept fans happy with Pokemon Heartgold/Soul Silver, Picross 3D and Mario vs. Donkey Kong but it was third party developers who stole the show with titles like Miles Edgeworth, Professor Layton, 999, Super Scribblenaunts, Sonic Colors and Dragon Quest IX.
With the 3DS launching in the first quarter of next year it’s safe to say that 2011 will signify the death of the DS, as both Nintendo and their fans migrate towards the third dimension. The DS will not go down without a fight though and 3DS’ high price point will insure that that the DS continues to sell moderately throughout the year. I’m quite confident that the DSi (and its XL brother) will still be on store shelves by early 2012 but the handhelds lifespan won’t stretch much further beyond that.