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The Video Game Wars Begin Again

Techstination feature for Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The video game wars begin again. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. With Microsoft about to unleash the Xbox 360….Sony and Nintendo are making plans to battle back. They won't have their next generation consoles out until sometime next year. At Nintendo, vice president George Harrison says most of the company's focus during the holiday season….will be on the handheld side…with the Nintendo DS and the Gameboy Micro….

"Actually our corporate philosophy is just more of the same, better graphics and bigger processors, isn't going to attract consumers in the video game business, you have to offer something different. And so as a result, on the Nintendo DS, the touch screen, voice activation…and now we're launching the Nintendo WiFi connection, which allows people to play over the Internet with their Nintendo DS. Our partnership is with Wayport, of which McDonalds is one of their big outlets."

For the first time…Nintendo is facing serious competition in the handheld game business…from Sony's Playstation Portable. Harrison says the DS is more than holding its own with the launch of the Nintendogs game. And there are plans to launch quiz titles that have become a hit in Japan…in the U.S. as well…

"Targeting non-gamers is part of our strategy to expand the marketplace and these two games in Japan, Brain Training and BrainFlex, have been hugely successful…combined over a million and a half units sold already. And we're going to bring them here in the spring to the U.S. What's significant is given the economics of game development, this took less than four months and fewer than ten people to actually create these games."

To Nintendo…that sounds more super than Mario. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.