The Nintendo DS ended the year with a bang. After a slow start, the handheld gradually gained traction, arguably starting with the release of the ever-so-unique Nintendogs in August. The puppy sim was highly recognized by the likes of The New York Times, USA Today, Time magazine and Parade and has recieved the following awards:

    * PC World: 2006 Innovation Award
    * Associated Press: Best Game of 2005
    * BusinessWeek: featured on Best Products
    * Entertainment Weekly: featured on The Must List
    * Chicago Sun Times: featured on the Game Of The Year list
    * FamilyFun.com: #1 on the Annual Video Game Toy Test

Nintendogs has surpassed sales of 1.5 million units since its U.S. launch in August. For those that have played the sim, you probably know: The premise of a dog simulation is nothing new, but the presentation, interfacing, and life-like dog personalities of the game are an achievement for any kind of software. Let's get one thing straight though, awards don't mean a thing unless they influence the public (e.g. ads that don't sell product). But if you can match innovative awards with customer demand as a company you'll be on to something. Nintendogs appears to have done that.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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