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Nintendo Prepares for Battles

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Nintendo prepares for battle. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Until recently... Nintendo's dominance of the handheld game machine business with its Game Boy devices has gone almost unchallenged. But now... Nokia is trying to win game players over to its combination cell phone-game machine... the nGage. And Sony has served notice that it will have a handheld on the market next year. Nintendo senior VP George Harrison...

"Well of course when you're successful, everyone would like to enter the business, particularly the handheld gaming area where Game Boy has been so dominant. The Nokia product has actually been not particularly successful and we think it's because consumers really don't want hybrid products. Products that try to graft gaming onto another core function like cell phones. But certainly competition from Sony we take very seriously. They've been successful in the video game industry and we're preparing ourselves to meet that competition."

In the video game console business, Nintendo has gained ground on Sony's Playstation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox by cutting the price of its GameCube system to under a hundred dollars this fall...

"We actually have seen a dramatic sales increase for the Nintendo GameCube since the price was reduced to 99 dollars at the end of Septebmer. Sales have increase four to five times over the rate prior to that and our market share during the month of October leapt up to 37 percent of all the hardware units sold. So we're very, very pleased and we feel like we've got a strong program all the way through November and December."

Nintendo continues to take a go slow approach to online gaming... an area that Microsoft and Sony have looked to for increased sales.