The new Nintendo DS handheld has had the most successful hardware launch ever in the Australian market, where it launched last Thursday ahead of its planned European roll-out on Friday, March 11th.[br][br]"The retail and consumer feedback from Thursday's Nintendo DS launch has been astounding," according to Nintendo Australia's sales and marketing director Rose Lappin. "We are eagerly awaiting the official market sales figures this week to fully solidify our place in the Australian marketplace as the most successful current hardware launch ever."[br][br]Official figures for the launch are expected to be revealed on Wednesday by market research firm GfK, with Nintendo's current claim - that sales in the first 12 hours have been the highest ever for a new hardware platform in the region - based entirely on retailer feedback.[br][br]The DS launches in Europe on March 11th, priced at UKP 99 / 149 Euro, the last major territory to receive the hardware after hugely successful launches in Japan and North America before Christmas.[br][br]The platform is already a huge success despite strong market anticipation for Sony's PlayStation Portable - whose European launch was recently pushed back indefinitely due to stock shortages.[br][br]Over 2.8 million units of the DS were sold through in North America and Japan by mid-January, and the company is believed to be on track to meet its aggressive target of selling five million units worldwide by the end of its financial year on March 31st.
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