The Nintendo DS is doing well in its home land of Japan. How well, you ask? Well enough that Nintendo claims one in every five Japanese people owns one, anyway.
Nintendo recently released a chart showing what percentage of any given market owns a variation of their megapopular handheld – whether the original DS, the DS Lite, or the new DSi. The numbers are … actually pretty staggering, if they’re to be believed. 9.5% of Americans own one of the fancy little gadgets, compared with 9.9% of Europeans (though it falls to 6.7% when counting countries outside of the EU).
The real whopper, though, is Japan. According to Nintendo’s numbers, 20.5% of the nation’s population owns some kind of DS. This isn’t “one out of every five Japanese gamers has a DS,” this is “one out of every five people in Japan has a DS.” If you walked up to a random person in, say, Yokohama and asked “Do you have a DS?” the odds would be that they’d say “yes” 1/5th of the time.
That’s crazy. Of course, the numbers do seem a little odd. It seems to me that this is Nintendo measuring total sales against the population of the country, so if some gamer bought the regular DS, then the DS Lite, and now the DSi, they’d count for three people alone. But even with that potential overstatement, even if every single gamer in Japan owns three versions of the DS, that’s still almost a 1-in-10 chance. Which is pretty impressive in its own right.