Game news latest: DS best selling console ever, 250GB Xbox drive, Zelda for Wii

The Wii is now the best selling Nintendo home console, while the DS is the firm’s top selling device of all time. The news comes in an event-filled week for the games industry, with Microsoft confirming a super-sized external drive for the Xbox 360 and a Zelda game for Wii now appearing a cert for this year.

While releasing its most recent financial figures, Nintendo announced the Wii has now sold $67.45 million, topping the $61.91 million of the NES. Meanwhile the $125.13 million DS sales to date take it past the $118.69 million recorded by the GameBoy.

What counts as the best-selling games device from any manufacturer is somewhat disputable. The DS sales figure includes both the DS Lite and the DSi. If you class that as merely editions of the same device, but count the Gameboy (and its color edition) separately from the Gameboy Advance, the DS takes the crown. If you instead count all three Gameboy devices as one product it has a distinct lead with total sales a hair under 200 million.

Despite the success, Nintendo took a bit of a knock for 2009, with its profits for the last nine months down more than 9%. That’s due mainly to a drop in sales of its consoles, despite price cuts, most notably selling 17 million Wiis in comparison to more than 20 million in the same period the previous year. That failure is only relative of course: the firm still made a profit of $1.3 million during the period.

And sales news isn’t gloomy everywhere: as a whole, the gaming industry took in $2 billion in Australia last year, a 4% increase which bucked a global trend. There doesn’t appear to be any particular reason why sales down under should perform so well, though it could be that gaming itself has become more popular and attracted first-time buyers.

In other news, a long-running question about when Legend of Zelda Wii will show up appears to have an answer. The online video show Ninty News, an official Nintendo production, lists the game in its preview of 2010 releases.

There’s also good news for Xbox 360 owners who want extra storage space but are screwdriver-averse. Microsoft has confirmed that the Japanese market is to get a 250GB external drive with a $172 price tag. It’s the first time such a large drive has been available from Microsoft as a standalone unit, though it was featured in some bundle deals. The firm says there are no plans to sell the drive outside of Japan, but it’s difficult to imagine it never making its way to other markets.

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