Nintendo's Satoru Iwata has said that there is still potential for DS growth, despite critics suggesting the market is saturated.
"Some say the market for the DS is saturated, but I disagree," said Iwata, speaking to the Daily Yomiuri.
“In Japan, a country with a population of 127 million, we've sold 23 million DS units. The United States is inhabited by over 300 million people, and there are more than 490 million people in the European Union.
"Sales of the product could grow further in foreign countries considering their populations," he added.
There is sales potential in Europe and emerging markets such as India and Russia, said Iwata. And while Nintendo hardware has been a runaway success in 2008, he noted that Nintendo is monitoring the current economic downturn closely.
"The number of people playing games is rapidly increasing in Europe, where the penetration of games had been slow. In Germany, bookstores have opened Nintendo sections and Wii software has sold well.
"I'd also like to focus on emerging markets such as Russia and India.
"I think the game industry will keep doing well in 2009. However, the current economic recession is something that happens only once in 50 or 100 years. We have to monitor the market very carefully," he said.