Faced with slumping hardware sales, both at home and overseas, Nintendo has kicked off an ambitious scheme to get a DS in the hands of every single consumer.

The headline-grabbing move was announced by company President Satoru Iwata after Nintendo's quarterly results showed the Wii in particular is starting to struggle.

Sales slump

Data show the console was down 57 per cent in Japan, 50 per cent in Europe and 38 per cent in the US in terms of units sold.

While a partly saturated market means the sales slide was broadly expected, an overall profit fall of 66 per cent was not.

McDonald's freebies

Hence, the plan to get everyone - starting with Japan - toting their own DS by marketing it as a personal device like a mobile phone, rather than something to be shared within families.

Iwata was encouraged by a promising marketing campaign in Japan that saw DS sales jump at shops near McDonald's outlets that all offer free wireless internet access and game downloads for owners of the handheld.

Via Nikkei