DS driving industry growth

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: Nintendo DS Lite
...According to Nintendo, of course.  Actually, there isn't much to debate--the DS is pushing up the charts and moving the software, especially in the Touch Generations lineup.  Nintendo attests that a good number of DS players aren't hardcore gamers.  It seems that the boomers and the girls are finally getting into gaming, and all because Nintendo decided to break some tired stereotypes.  I, for one, am very happy to see more women into gaming these days--my chances of getting a date are realistic now, at least statistically.  You hear that, ladies?  The Seanster isn't spoken for yet...
Touch Generations Titles Are Expanding Audience to Female and Older Players
    REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- As both an entertainment and a 
business, Nintendo DS(TM) today is the powerhouse of the U.S. video game 
industry, driving nearly all industry revenue growth so far this year.  
Without this portable system, the video game industry growth overall would be 
nearly flat when compared with 2005, according to independent sales figures 
from the NPD Group of Port Washington, N.Y.
    (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20061013/LAF025 )
    Through September's end, the U.S. industry overall shows revenue growth of 
11 percent when compared with the same period in 2005.  Nearly all of the 
growth comes from the portable DS -- without it, the industry would report a 
mere 1.6 percent growth over the past nine months.  DS hardware and software 
units posted a robust gain of 203 percent when compared to the same period in 
2005.  The news is the same globally: Nintendo recently announced estimated 
full-year shipments for DS hardware will grow to 20 million units from 
17 million units worldwide, while estimated DS software shipments increased to 
82 million units from 75 million.
    "Numbers dramatically show the value of reaching out to the masses with 
products that are compelling and comfortable," says Nintendo of America 
President Reggie Fils-Aime.  "And this perfectly sets the stage for our 
breakthrough Wii console, which appeals to both core players and current 
non-players with an intuitive control system and a price everyone can afford."
    The NPD numbers also indicate that during September, Nintendo DS lifetime 
U.S. sales surpassed more than 6.2 million units.  That total includes more 
than 1.4 million units of the new Nintendo DS Lite systems, which launched 
just 16 weeks ago on June 11.  It's important to note these numbers represent 
Nintendo DS systems actually purchased by customers, not ones shipped only to 
    "During a home console generation upgrade, consumer interest in existing 
consoles tends to drop as anticipation for new consoles increases.  Hand-held 
game hardware and software revenues have kept the industry afloat," says Billy 
Pidgeon, Program Manager, Consumer Markets: Gaming at IDC.  "Hand-held gaming 
has spurred real industry growth, and Nintendo's longstanding leadership in 
this space continues to drive this market."
    This summer, Nintendo launched its Touch Generations brand to help 
newcomers to video games identify which nontraditional and pick-up-and-play 
titles are appropriate for them.  The response from consumers has been 
enthusiastic, as four of the top 10 best-selling Nintendo DS games are Touch 
Generations titles.  Touch Generations games include Brain Age(TM): Train Your 
Brain in Minutes a Day and the three versions of Nintendogs(TM).  And at the 
same time, avid players also are fueling growth: the New Super Mario Bros.(R) 
title, exclusively for Nintendo DS, is the third best-seller among all video 
games this year, including console games.
    Nintendo's internal statistics show the Touch Generations brand continues 
to reach more women and older gamers.  Nintendo statistics show a significant 
percentage of all Touch Generations software buyers are female and are age 25 
or older, demonstrating the broad appeal of Nintendo titles like Brain Age and 
Big Brain Academy(TM), which provide engaging and entertaining content for 
baby boomers and seniors alike.
    For more information about Nintendo DS, visit www.nintendods.com.  For 
more information about Nintendo's Touch Generations brand, visit 
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