Nintendo Records Lifetime DS Sales of 50 Million in the U.S.

Nintendo’s latest sales update reveals that it has sold 50 million portable gaming systems in the U.S. over the lifetime of the system.

That figure confirms that Nintendo is definitely one of this country’s leading portable gaming manufacturers, but for comparison’s sake, we dug up numbers for the iPod touch, which is likely Apple’s most comparable device, rather than the always-connected iPhone or its larger and more expensive cousin, the iPad.

In a lawsuit, Apple revealed that as of March 2011 it had sold more than 60 million iPod touch devices worldwide since late 2007.

While those aren’t entirely comparable numbers — one is worldwide and the other is only in the U.S. — many are saying that Apple’s products are starting to eat into Nintendo’s traditional base of players. With these figures being so close, and Apple claiming that the iPod touch is the No. 1 portable game player, you can start to see why.

Last month, Nintendo sold more than 260,000 Nintendo 3DS units in the U.S., an increase of more than 10 percent from the previous month, following a much-needed price drop on Aug. 12.

The numbers were part of the NPD Group’s monthly figures, which state the overall health of the videogame industry. Generally, September is a sleepy month, as consumers hold off on making any big purchases and manufacturers delay big launches until the holidays.

The NPD Group said spending on hardware and software in September totaled $1.16 billion, falling 6 percent from the same period a year earlier, when consumers spent $1.23 billion. The sales only represent physical retail sales and do not include digital sales, which are fast becoming a big chunk of the industry.

During the month, software sales were helped out by the newly released Madden NFL by Electronic Arts, which was the top selling-game during the month.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald