Nintendo DS sells 50 mln in less than three years

Selling nearly as fast as Apple's iPods

The popular DS handheld has surpassed 50 million in worldwide sales says Tech.co.uk; nearly as fast as Apple sells iPods.

According to the report, almost 40 percent of DS owners reside in Japan. That means one in six people own a DS in the country.

Only a handful of products reach the seminal 100 million milestone. Apple announced in April that it had sold its 100 millionth iPod player, doing so in only five and a half years. It took Sony 13 and a half years to sell 100 million Walkmans, 10 years to sell 100 million units of the original PlayStation, and five an a half years to sell 100 million PlayStation 2 machines.

Nintendo's personal best is 100 million GameBoys sold in 11 years; something the company's newest portable should easily surpass in much less time. By comparison, Sony's PlayStation handheld has sold 25 million units to date.

The DS was first released in late 2004. In 2006, Nintendo released the DS Lite, a more streamlined version of the original.

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