Nintendo DS ships 100 million units, breaks records

On March 6, Nintendo shipped the 100 millionth unit of its popular Nintendo DS gaming system. Launched in the United States on November 21, 2004, the DS (double screen) reached this milestone in just over four years, making it the fastest selling game system in history. By comparison, Sony's PlayStation 2 took five years, nine months to sell 100 million units.

The original DS, which sold for $149.99, was subsequently joined by a slimmer version, the DS Lite, which is often known to users as the "DS Phat." In October 2008, Nintendo announced the release of a camera-equipped version, the DSi. Packed with goodies, the DSi has been selling in Japan since November, but will be released in the U.S. on April 5, 2009. It will retail for $169.99.

DS software has also been a big seller. According to Nintendo, 83 of the handheld's games have sold more than a million copies, and seven have sold more than 10 million.

The ultimate goal of the Nintendo DS, according to the company, is "to shift from one machine for one family to one machine for one person." This aggressive strategy seems to be paying off: while Nintendo stock is currently trading for a little under half of its 52-week high, it seems to be weathering an expected slowdown in Wii sales and a currency-based price jump. The release of today's news gave the stock a nice little 3.4 percent bump.

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