Japanese sales of Nintendo DS portable game machine reached 5 million units in less than 13 months after its launch in early December 2004, the fastest-ever pace in Japan's video game market, Nintendo said Monday.
Nintendo's Game Boy Advance took 14 months to hit the 5 million mark in Japan, and Sony's PlayStation 2 took 17 months, the Kyoto-based company said.
"Selling 5 million units in less than 14 months means DS is the fastest among any game machines ever launched in Japan to hit that level," Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told a news conference.
"To achieve this rapid growth, we were required not only to go after frequent game players, but to reel back people who had left games and to make video games enjoyable for those who had not played games at all," he added.
Besides advanced video games with sophisticated graphics and realistic actions, Nintendo focuses on games for women, adults and seniors--traditionally noncore segments for game makers--in a bid to expand the overall game-playing population.
Domestic shipments of one such game, "Nintendogs," which lets players interact with virtual pets in the console, have so far totaled 1.08 million units, clearing the 1 million benchmark for a hit game.