Dean Takahashi of Mercury News was able to talk with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas. Post-holiday, Fils-Aime seems to be confident about Nintendo’s success with both the Wii and the DS, and he discusses everything from sales figures, to those who label the Wii as merely a novelty, and the culture that is surrounding the Wii. According to Reggie, DS sales continue to grow beyond Nintendo’s ability to make more handhelds, “making millions a month, but the demand is above that.” He also believes that the Wii has the staying power to grow beyond the Xbox 360 user base, and that the upcoming release of Wii Play will drive sales further. Given that Nintendo still can’t seem to supply enough Wii consoles for the channel, this seems like a hard thing to judge. Reggie loves the inroads that the Wii has been making into pop culture, such as the Conan O’Brien / Serena Williams Wii Tennis battle. Apparently, online development kits have also made their way to developers at this point as well, so gamers can expect online play in the future. Overall, Reggie’s comments reflect a company that has done phenomenally well over the past holiday; Nintendo’s continued success depends on their ability to execute and stay on target.
Read More | Mercury News
Nintendo stated for a long time that they were hoping to open the gaming market to new consumers (read: old folks), but ever since the release of Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes A Day, there hasn’t really been a title that I could see either of my grandparents sinking their dentures into. Sure, Big Brain Academy was great, and it revolved around the same concept as Brain Age, but stylistically it was a little more gamer-oriented. And even though they’re under the Touch Generations line, I can’t really see G’pa Cardiff spending much time with Tetris DS or Elite Beat Agents.
Enter The New York Times Crosswords, a game practically screaming for attention from the new “older gamer” set. The New York Times Crosswords will feature, you guessed it, crosswords - and lots of them by the look of it. The cart will include over 1,000 real crosswork puzzles and will allow you to write in answers or use a touch-screen keyboard. It even features both cooperative and competitive 2-player games (no word on whether that will be single-cart based yet), so that G’ma and G’pa can work together or duke it out. Also no word yet on whether the game will be incorporating any features of the Nintendo WiFi Connection,although the ability to download and solve new puzzles would be pretty sweet!
Majesco has a mixed record on the DS, creating such acclaimed titles as Cooking Mama and Age of Empires, but they’ve also released a fair number of quick profit-makers like Brain Boost: Beta Wave and Brain Boost: Gamma Wave (read: one game divided into two equally priced carts). We’re hoping for the best with NY Times Crosswords, though, as it sounds like a game that really has the potential to recapture the casual gaming market when it launches this spring.
See the full press release, after the jump…
Read More | Majesco
It can’t be long until Nintendo and EA announce that Sim City DS will also be hitting the states… this footage just looks too good, and Nintendo fanboys will be whining A LOT if this doesn’t get ported state-side. Plus Will Wright’s native language is English, so we should get a game with him speaking English… right?!?
The trailer found in the link is the latest advertisement for the Japanese version of the game, and shows of the variety of ways in which the touch-screen is used. This is looking to be a fabulous fit for the DS. The touch screen is of course used to design buildings and layout roads, but you’ll see in the trailer that you can also use the stylus to do things like fight off alien invaders and giant apes that attack from time to time. Hopefully we’ll hear some news from EA soon about a US release…
Read More | GameBrink.com
Nintendo today reported its nine-month financials for the fiscal year; sales for the nine month period are up 73%, with a profit increase of 43%, according to an Associated Press report. Gross sales grew from 412 billion yen to 713 billion yen ($5.9 billion) for this year; profit grew to 132 billion yen ($1.1 billion) from 92.2 billion the previous year. Nintendo sold 3.19 million Wii consoles worldwide, and said that they shipped 4 million, leaving roughly 800,000 units in distribution channels. The company’s decision to avoid costly air freight probably hindered their distribution efforts. Nintendo also estimated that the Wii strap recall would cost the company approximately 1 billion yen, about $8 million. Nintendo also announced that they had sold 18.9 million DS handhelds worldwide, and in a related press release Nintendo of America announced that they have shipped 10 million handhelds in “the Americas.”
Read More | BusinessWeek
Nintendo of America celebrated the success of the Wii and the DS in North America, now Nintendo of Europe is doing the same in their territory. Sales monitoring company Chart Track has released their sales numbers for the month of December, and in the UK Nintendo sold nearly 200,000 Wii consoles and 500,000 DS handhelds.
In Europe, Nintendo moved more than 700,000 Wii consoles and an amazing 1.7 million DS handhelds. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess nearly matched the attach rate in the US, selling 500,000 copies to 70% of Wii purchasers during December. With huge sales in Europe, Nintendo has basically stormed across the globe this holiday season.
Read More | Nintendo Europe
Japanese publisher Enterbrain has released the software and hardware sales totals for 2006. According to a report from Gamasutra, the publisher is claiming that Japanese video game hardware grew year over year 160%, while software sales grew 125%. The best selling hardware for the year was, of course, the Nintendo DS, moving over 7.5 million handhelds. Software sales charts were also dominated by the DS, which represented 8 of the top 10 titles of the year. Leading the list was Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. The top non-DS title was Square’s Final Fantasy XII for the PS2. Wii Sports made the top 100 in the 21st position, but no title for the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3 were represented on the list. Nintendo managed to completely dominate Japan this year, and so far there are no signs of this changing any time soon.
Read More | Gamasutra
December’s NPD final numbers have been released, and the video game industry as a whole did remarkably well, selling over $3.7 billion during the final month of the year. According to a GameDaily report, this puts industry growth year-over-year at 27.8%. In hardware, the biggest seller overall was the Nintendo DS, moving over 1.6 million handhelds. This was followed by Sony’s “last-generation” console, the PS2, which sold an amazing 1.4 million consoles sold.
For the current generation of consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 lead the pack at 1.1 million sold through December, followed by Nintendo’s Wii with 604,200 sold and Sony at 490,700. Supply constraints clearly impacted both Nintendo and Sony for their next generation offerings; Nintendo’s worldwide launch stretched console supply impossibly thin, and production issues kept Sony from pushing as many consoles to market as they would have liked. Microsoft has to be happy with their totals, maintaining their lead in the face of new competition, and the continued success of the PS2 helps take the sting out of Sony’s meager PS3 launch.
On the software side, Microsoft’s Gears of War continued to sell well and moved more than 815 thousand units, and clearly helped drive sales of the Xbox 360. Guitar Hero II was a huge seller for the Playstation 2, and the combined sales of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Wii and Gamecube moved over one million sold; Zelda for the Wii continued to have a huge attach rate with Wii console buyers, selling 519,200 units against more than 600,000 consoles.
Overall, each of the three console manufacturers has something to brag about for the month of December, and while the relative sales are interesting now, this is just the beginning of the next console war; most analysts are predicting that the holiday season for 2007 will be when consumers will see how the competition really shakes up.
Read More | GameDaily
Nintendo last raised its profit forecasts for the fiscal year in October, when it adjusted its estimates upwards based on better than expected sales of the Nintendo DS. Recently, Satoru Iwata hinted that another adjustment might be in the future. Today, Nintendo of Japan again raised its profit forecasts by 20% to 120 billion yen, again based on stronger than expected sales of its DS console. The DS and software just continues to surge in popularity; a report on Bloomberg News indicates that the company now expects to sell roughly 23 million DS consoles for the fiscal year with related software sales of 100 million. While Nintendo did not raise its Wii sales projections, the general belief is that the only reason this was not adjusted upwards is that the company does not believe it can manufacture any more units. Overall, the success of the DS worldwide has been nothing short of amazing, allowing Nintendo to build up a war chest for the console wars.
Read More | Bloomberg
Read More | Nintendo News Release (PDF)
Square-Enix has placed a new trailer for Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings for the DS online. There is a small streaming version on the main page of their Revenant Wings site, but inside the trailers section is a larger streaming video. The trailer includes a fair amount of pre-rendered footage, but gamers can also get a glimpse at some of the in-game video, including combat sequences. The trailer was shown previously at the Jump Festa 2007 event in Japan.
Read More | Square Enix Japan
The latest RPG releases in the Pokemon franchise will be hitting the US this April. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl will go on sale for the Nintendo DS on April 22, 2007. Nintendo will also be offering special Pokemon styluses as a pre-sell premium; details of the program have yet to be announced. The game has been a huge seller in Japan, and with the wireless networking features and integration with other DS and Gameboy Advance releases should have Pokemon fans lining up this Spring.
Nintendo’s full press release continues below, and further information about the game is available at Nintendo’s official Pokemon web site.
Read More | Official Pokemon Site