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DSi Off To Strong Start

There’s a war, at least in the press, over which platform — the Nintendo DS or Apple iPhone/iPod Touch — will win out as the portable game machine of choice.

You’ve got the iPhone and iPod Touch with more than 7,000 game apps and 30 million of the devices sold worldwide, while Nintendo has racked up sales of 100 million DS units since 2004. 

Game developers are flocking to the iPhone in droves, but Nintendo’s newest DSi, launched April 6, adds some great new features and looks to be selling well.

Reports this week said Nintendo sold 300,000 units in the U.S. and Europe each during the first two launch days, for a total of 600,000 units. Not bad for a product refresh that was not heavily promoted by game-biz standards.

Initial sales aren’t a reliable indicator of a gaming platform’s staying power. The Sony PSP sold a half million units in its first two days in North America. Also, by comparison, 146,000 iPhones were activated in the first two days of the phone’s U.S. launch.

But IDC predicted the DSi sales streak will continue into 2010 and Nintendo’s biggest challenge will be meeting demand.

Said IDC analyst Billy, “The DSi is showing strong sales performance, which is not surprising considering pre-order reports. I think it will continue to sell out quickly. Nintendo will need some time to increase production output. I expect DSi to be in short supply in Q4 2009.”

Nintendo isn’t commenting on sales. but it claimed advanced orders for the DSi beat previous records, with preorders at Amazon exceeding those of any other game device. Also. preorders at GameStop were twice the amount the chain received on the DS Lite, said Nintendo.