Nintendo DSi sells 500,000 units in Japan

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Sales of Nintendo's new DSi handheld passed the half million mark during its first month on Japanese store shelves, according to data published on Tuesday.

The handheld, which was launched on Nov. 1, is a slightly remodeled version of the best-selling DS Lite and has a slightly larger screen and a digital still camera. It is also thinner but lacks a cartridge slot for running older GameBoy software.

Sales stood at 535,379 units as of Nov. 30, the last day of the month, said data-provider Enterbrain. The DSi sold about 170,000 at launch, and weekly sales have been around the 100,000-unit mark since, Enterbrain said.

Enterbrain publishes local gaming magazine Famitsu. Enterbrain's sales estimates, which are based on point-of-sale data from 3,500 retailers of computer game software and hardware, are generally regarded in the gaming industry as reliable.

Combined with sales of 17.3 million for the DS Lite and 6.5 million for the original DS, total sales of the handheld as of the end of November were 24.2 million units.

The DSi is currently available only in Japan. A launch in the U.S. and European markets is expected in 2009.

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