Nintendo has announced that more than 21 million DS units have been sold worldwide since it launched last June - the equivalent of 23 machines per minute, or one every two seconds.
According to figures from the gaming giant, that means the DS has proved even more popular than the iPod; Apple shipped one million of its music players within the first 19 months after launch.
Nintendo of America exec George Harrison said the company was "thrilled" with the sales figures, "Especially since Nintendo DS was North America's top-selling video game system of any type in June.
"We attribute this success to Nintendo's overall strategy of offering something for everyone, from five-year-olds caring for their Nintendogs to 65-year-olds tuning their mental agility with Brain Age," he added.
Sales of Nintendo's handheld have been further boosted in recent weeks with the launch of the DS Lite, a redesigned version of the original handheld which features a slimmer case and a brighter screen. Recent software releases such as New Super Mario Bros. have also helped to shift units.