Saturday, April 11, 2009

Nintendo in High-Stakes Game

Can Nintendo stay ahead of Sony in the video-game biz? Its new DSi handheld, the latest version of this popular game device, sold more than 600,000 units in the first two days of sale in US and Europe. In Japan, however, the Wii game console was recently outsold by Sony's PSP3 console, in part because consumers wanted to play hot new games made only for the PSP. Nintendo says it has no immediate plans to discount the Wii to jump-start purchasing.

According to a Japanese video-game mag, Nintendo sold more games in Japan than any other company last year. Yet its share was estimated at only 40% because more third-party game companies are entering the field.

One industry rumor says that Sony will incorporate some iPhone-like functionality in its new-generation PSP product. How will Nintendo react? Will it lose customers as game-playing on smartphones becomes more popular? Will it develop a DS with iPhone-like features? Or will it concentrate on the Wii, where its targeting of women, seniors, and families has kept sales humming in the US and Europe?

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