Nintendo announced today that sales of its hand-held, dual-screened video game player, the Nintendo DS, have topped 20 million worldwide (guesstimates say 21,270,000).
Nintendo has been selling the DS since November 2004 and rolled out the DS Lite in March this year, which is a smaller unit with a brighter display and prints money. Ok so that last feature is a joke, but then again Nintendo does expect DS (Lite) sales to be 17 million between April 2006 and March 2007. Here’s the financial report:
Nintendo’s fiscal first-quarter profit rose 10 percent on sales of the DS Lite. Net income climbed to 15.6 billion yen ($134 million) in the three months ended June 30, from 14.1 billion yen a year earlier, the Kyoto-based company said in a statement today. Nintendo increased its annual profit forecast to 83 billion yen ($711 million), from a previous estimate of 65 billion yen ($557 million). Sales surged 85%.
Nintendo is competing against Sony’s PlayStation Portable by targeting a wider audience than combat-game fans with titles such as Nintendogs, a virtual pet, and Brain Age, a quiz challenge. About 600,000 units of the DS Lite were sold in the U.S. last month, almost double any other gaming device.
“On the handheld side they’ve been enormously successful with the touch-generation approach,'” said Jay Defibaugh, an analyst at Credit Suisse in Tokyo. “The most recent data shows there has been an improvement in the North American market, with the introduction of DS Lite.'”
In the fiscal first quarter, Nintendo sold 4.54 million units of DS and DS Lite players, more than three times the 1.38 million units sold a year earlier. The company on June 7 said it would boost production capacity of its DS devices to 2 million units a month from 1.6 million.
Sales of DS software titles rose threefold to 18.4 million units in the period from 5.3 million a year earlier.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata last month said that the company delivers between 100,000 and 150,000 of the appointment book-sized players to retailers on Sundays and they sell out the same day almost every week.
The company raised its full-year sales forecast of the DS handheld game players to 17 million units for the year ending March 2007, up from 16 million unit sales projection made in May. Sales of DS game titles are projected to rise to 75 million units, from 70 million.
Wii console & competition:
Nintendo is also trying to capture share in the home console market with its Wii player that features a motion-sensor remote controller, when it’s released in the fourth quarter. The company will give the price and release date of the device in September.
The Wii console, which Nintendo said won’t cost more than $250, compares with a $300 starting price for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and an expected tag of at least $500 for Sony’s PlayStation 3. Sony sells its PlayStation 3 in November, while Microsoft started Xbox 360 sales last year.
The PlayStation 3, which will include the Blue-ray high- definition DVD player, is aimed at game players who demand the highest-level of graphic resolution, speed and sophistication of games. The Xbox 360 will also be able to work with high- definition video.
Nintendo is forecasting sales of 6 million Wii consoles and about 17 million titles of game software for the device for the year ending March 2007.
Shares of Nintendo, which have gained 46 percent this year, rose 1.4 percent to 20,840 yen today on the Osaka Securities Exchange. The company released the earnings report after Japanese stock markets closed.
Update: A friend asked how we got to the 21.27 million total DS’ sold number, here’s how by territory:
Japanese sales are: 9.240.000
North American sales are: 5.900.000
Other Territories sales are: 6.130.000
Total sales are: 21.270.000
PS: Funny DS picture found at Neogaf.