Nintendo has announced that its Wi-Fi Connection has surpassed two separate but equally impressive milestones, with more than 5 million Nintendo DS users worldwide connecting to the service, playing more than 200 million distinct game sessions since the service's launch in November 2005.
According to Nintendo, the free service is currently utilized by nearly 65 Nintendo DS titles worldwide, including the recently released Pokémon Diamond
and Pokémon Pearl
, both of which take advantage of the Wi-Fi connection for multiplayer and VoIP functionality.
Nintendo has also revealed the results of its own internal demographic tracking studies, indicating that in less than 18 months, Nintendo DS purchases have increased by 42 percent among women, 127 percent among people 30 and older and 212 percent among people 35 and older. This data would seem to validate the company's continuing efforts to open up gaming to a wider audience through casual and non-conventional video game experiences.
The Nintendo DS has continued to be the top selling platform in North America, with NPD's April data showing more than 470,000 units sold in the United States alone. In addition, Famitsu publisher Enterbrain recently confirmed
the handheld's dominance in Japan with more than 10 million consoles sold, a milestone it reached in just 61 weeks.
"Nintendo DS gamers globally use Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection as an easy, fun place to find fellow players, all without paying anything extra for the service," explains Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "The milestones represent millions of hours of fun and camaraderie despite miles between players."