It can be easy for games companies to get carried away about online. Over the years, the likes of Infogrames and EA have spent – some would say wasted – millions in the dream that they can convert common-or-garden game players into online animals.
Nintendo's fresh announcement that over five million DS owners have logged onto the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection is a case in point. On one hand, five million people is a lot. On the other, that means 88 per cent of DS owners haven't gone online, even once.
Which is the more significant fact? Maybe it's one to debate in our newly opened forum?
Still, perhaps a more interesting statistic is that 200 million games (we'd suggest 'bouts' would be a better word than games, to avoid confusion, but this is Nintendo's term) have been played on the NWC, which neatly averages out at 40 per user. Seems a lot, but the distribution of games played will be less regularly ordered, with a hardcore playing daily while the majority of players dip in and out.
Indeed, as our analysis of the daily NWC's logs demonstrates, around four million games are now being played weekly, with a peak of 911,000 games played on Saturday 26th May.
But as other figures released by Nintendo demonstrate, it's the offline, mass market where DS is really making its moves. Over the past 18 months, sales of DSs have increased 42 per cent among women, 127 per cent among people 30 and older, and 212 per cent among people 35 and older. And we'd guess most of those gamers aren't going online.