The Nintendo DSi officially launched in the U.S. on the day after the last day of the March 2009 reporting period. However, units sold at midnight sales were included with the March figures reported by the NPD Group. According to Mr. Michael Pachter, analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities, the Nintendo DS figures for March 2009 included 58,000 units of the Nintendo DSi from those midnight sales.
According to Nintendo, the updated handheld went on to sell 435,000 systems during its first week on sale.
If one excludes the Nintendo DSi from the sales figures, the original Nintendo DS system only sold 101,000 units per week during March 2009.
That would be the weakest showing for the Nintendo DS since January 2008, when the system suffered widespread shortages after extraordinary December 2007 sales.
According to the NPD Group sales of the Nintendo DSi and the Nintendo DS (i.e. the Nintendo DS Lite) will be reported together.
Despite the slip in March, first quarter hardware sales were up significantly for all but the PlayStation line of systems.
The Wii was up 42% from the first quarter of 2008, while the Nintendo DS (including the 58,000 Nintendo DSi sales) was up a more modest 8%.
After a nearly flat performance from 1Q 2007 to 1Q 2008, the Xbox 360 gained almost 38% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2009.
In fact, 1Q 2009 was the first non-holiday quarter during which the Xbox 360 broke the million system barrier. (It had previously come within 25,000 systems during 3Q 2007, during the launch of Halo 3.)
Sony's systems have started 2009 with far lower sales than it saw in 2008. The PlayStation Portable (PSP) saw a decline of 30% from its sales in 1Q 2008 while the PlayStation 3 dropped almost 14%. The ailing PlayStation 2 dropped a staggering 59% in 1Q 2009, year-on-year.