The best-selling DS game in Japan isn’t Pokemon or Dragon Quest – instead, it stars a familiar plumber.

Let’s be honest here: Mario is the most recognizable videogame icon in the world. Nintendo could slap his mustachioed face on a pile of poo and rebrand it as Super Mario Poo for the DS, and it’d sell a million copies easily. Yet it’s easy to forget that the reason Mario is so popular is because his games are almost always really, really good.

Like New Super Mario Bros., for instance – the 2006 platformer was actually pretty great, reinventing the Mario sidescroller for a new generation. It turns out that the population of Japan collectively really loves NSMB, as the game has become the first DS title to break six million units sold: As of December 26, the platformer has sold 6.01 million copies in the land of the Rising Sun.

Of course, while uber-popular games like Dragon Quest IX and Pokemon Black & White will almost certainly reach that mark, NSMB has a few years’ head start on its fellows.

There are 127 million people living in Japan. This means that in the entire country, one out of every 21.66 people owns a copy of New Super Mario Bros.

(Famitsu, via Kotaku)

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