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Nintendo Businesses Portables (Games) The Almighty Buck Wii

35 Million DSes Sold, 6 Million Wiis By End of March 146

Posted by Zonk
from the they-don't-do-things-halfway dept.
Wowzer writes "Nintendo just announced its quarterly sales for the end of 2006. Sales for the 9 months were up 72%, while net income was up 43%. From the article: '[There will be] worldwide shipments of 6 million Wii systems by the end of March 2007. Nintendo has sold 35 million DS and DS Lite to date ... As for the next fiscal year, Nintendo expect to sell around 23 million DS Lites, bringing the estimated total of DS units to 58 million by March 31, 2008.' New Super Mario Bros. seems to have legs of its own with 8.64 million copies sold worldwide and continued strong sales. But they seem slow to ship out those Wii with 4 million manufactured last year and 810,000 of those not arriving to stores until now."
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35 Million DSes Sold, 6 Million Wiis By End of March

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  • Bazillions sold (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Life700MB (930032) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:37PM (#17753428)

    If PS3 has showed us a lesson, is that we need a new metric for "x millions sold" with game consoles, that is, "x millions sold minus y millions returned after being unable to sell them at ebay for a premium price".

    No, seriously, most PS3 were bought for reselling, while most wii's are bought for playing. And it, for me, it's a pretty big difference.

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  • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:45PM (#17753576)
    Maybe it's the lack of vision that makes the DS so popular--the fact that it isn't a wannabe jack-of-all-trades like the PSP

    I don't see anything about the DS that could be classified as a "lack of vision" ... when it was released it was wildly different than anything that had come before it and it was Nintendo's unique approach of creating hardware that suits their idea of what software they want to produce that created the popular product they have today. They envisioned the demand for games like Brain Training, Nintendogs, Animal Crossing Wild World, and The New Super Mario Bros. (some of which use a greater subset of the features of the DS than others) and produced the hardware to meet this demand. They knew you didn't need the best LCD screen in the world to be popular and the added cost would drive customers away, thus they choose "grudingly inferior LCD screens".

    The reason people choose a DS is because they want to play unique games which are appropriate for portable gaming; the PSP is far behind because far fewer people want a portable PS2 which has a MP3 player and proprietary movie format.
  • by Thraxen (455388) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:49PM (#17753646)
    I'm trying to figure out what point you are trying to make. What do you think Nintendo should have done differently with the DS? Who uses the chat app anyway? And who really cares about the 2 second health warning? These seem like trivial complaints.
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:09PM (#17754022) Homepage Journal
    I find it strange that Nintendo has not been able to produce more Wiis, given that most of the technology in the system is rather old.

    It's a manufacturing capacity problem. Nintendo's business is sized according to the requirements of their previous generation of hardware. This unexpectedly high demand for Wiis has left them in dire need to increase their production capabilities. Unfortunately, it takes months to tool up a new factory and begin moving parts to that factory. And that factory won't even be able to work at full capacity if there's a shortage of some particular part. For example, the Wii cases are highly customized pieces of plastic. If the provider of those cases can't make enough to meet production needs, then the entire pipeline won't be able to operate at maximum capacity.

    All I can say is that it's a good thing that Nintendo gets their chips from IBM. IBM is probably the only company that could provide Nintendo with enough customized microprocessors to scale with their needs.
  • by JWW (79176) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @01:36PM (#17754502)
    Curently my list of games to pick up looks like:
    Zelda
    Redsteel
    Elebits (this is a questionable one)
    Exite Truck
    possibly maden, I really have to try it out first, and the same goes for DBZ (I want to paly it a bit more before hand).


    Get Madden, it rocks...

  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @02:33PM (#17755664) Homepage Journal
    The accelerometers they're using were only introduced in November 2005.

    Manufacturers introduce new parts all the time. They usually take over the manufacturing facilities of the parts they're replacing. Accelerometers have been around long enough to where supply shouldn't be that big of a problem.

    The drive also has to be custom; remember, it reads GCN disks as well.

    Actually, the Wii/GCN optical discs are the exact same technology as DVDs. The only difference is in a firmware update that allows the drive to read discs in Nintendo's custom format. (Nintendo didn't want to pay DVD licensing fees.) The GCN discs are mini-DVD sized, which are very similar to the 3" CDs from days gone by. They're often used in digital video cameras, and should fit in most standard DVD drives. The loading mechanism is probably custom, though. Very few slot-loading designs support the smaller CD/DVD formats. Of course, that's just a matter of mechanical parts.

    And the CPU and GPU set, though not designed for speed, are new custom designs.

    "Broadway" is a pretty straight-forward update to the "Gekko" chip used in the GCN. It's manufactured by IBM, one of the largest chip manufacturers in the world today. Similarly, "Hollywood" is an update to the "Flipper" chip used in the GCN. It's manufactured by ATI, another company with massive manufacturing capabilities.

    If I were to hazard a guess, the problem is not with Nintendo's partners. The problem is getting caught with their pants down, expecting that the Wii would sell only slightly better than the GCN did at launch. As a result, they're months behind on scaling up their manufacturing to meet demand. They may even be cautious about doing so, just in case demand were to suddenly drop off just after Christmas. Now that they know that demand is holding steady, expect Nintendo to get their act together something around... oh... June. Maybe July.
  • by Wdomburg (141264) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @03:33PM (#17756716)
    Manufacturers introduce new parts all the time. They usually take over the manufacturing facilities of the parts they're replacing. Accelerometers have been around long enough to where supply shouldn't be that big of a problem.


    Manufacturers don't introduce the first single chip three-axis accelerometer every day. We're talking about a new unique single-sourced chip from a manufacturer with relatively limited fab capacity.

    Actually, the Wii/GCN optical discs are the exact same technology as DVDs. The only difference is in a firmware update that allows the drive to read discs in Nintendo's custom format. (Nintendo didn't want to pay DVD licensing fees.) The GCN discs are mini-DVD sized, which are very similar to the 3" CDs from days gone by. They're often used in digital video cameras, and should fit in most standard DVD drives. The loading mechanism is probably custom, though. Very few slot-loading designs support the smaller CD/DVD formats. Of course, that's just a matter of mechanical parts.


    Mechanical parts need manufacture too, you know. :)

    "Broadway" is a pretty straight-forward update to the "Gekko" chip used in the GCN. It's manufactured by IBM, one of the largest chip manufacturers in the world today. Similarly, "Hollywood" is an update to the "Flipper" chip used in the GCN. It's manufactured by ATI, another company with massive manufacturing capabilities.


    And just because the companies have fabrication capability doesn't mean they have spare capacity that can be tooled for a temporary production ramp-up for a single client. I'm sure if Nintendo threw a ton of money at them, they'd be willing to do it, but why should they when demand will level off in a matter of months?

    If I were to hazard a guess, the problem is not with Nintendo's partners. The problem is getting caught with their pants down, expecting that the Wii would sell only slightly better than the GCN did at launch. As a result, they're months behind on scaling up their manufacturing to meet demand. They may even be cautious about doing so, just in case demand were to suddenly drop off just after Christmas. Now that they know that demand is holding steady, expect Nintendo to get their act together something around... oh... June. Maybe July.


    That's assuming demand stays peaked, which is won't. Otherwise it makes no sense to invest in ramping up production to meet demand that will level off by the time the factories have tooled their lines. They currently project six million units in the next fiscal year and have publicly commited to shipping two million in a single quarter. A little math implies their current production capacity outstrips their projected demand with plenty of wiggle room.

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