Iwata: Total DS install base could reach 152.2 million units

If the standard laws of the five-year console cycle apply to Nintendo's money-printing handheld, then said laws would dictate that the lifespan of the Nintendo DS (in its many, many forms) is nearing its end. The system's current install base of 84.1 million across the U.S., Japan and Europe is hardly anything to scoff at, and would certainly earn the device some form of lifetime achievement award at its retirement gala -- but according to Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, the DS will break the standard five-year cycle, and further expand its install base in the years to come.

Iwata claims that should interest in the DS expand in the U.S. and Europe as it did in Japan (where nearly one in every five people currently tote the handheld), the system's install base will nearly double -- his estimate for the handheld's final tally is a nice, round 152.2 million units. That's ... a pretty specific number. We're not usually one for conspiracy theories, but we're wondering if that estimate isn't, you know, time machine-assisted.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.