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Can Nintendo Sell the DS to Baby Boomers?

Boot Camp feature for Monday, April 3, 2006

Selling handheld game machines to older consumers. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. They've been fixtures in the hands of millions of kids for years. Nintendo's Game Boy game machines. The latest version is the dual screen Nintendo DS….and while the main appeal is still to teens and young adults…a new title is aimed at baby boomers. It's called Brain Age…a game designed to improve memory. The Japanese version has sold more than three million copies since last May. Now, Nintendo is bringing it to the U.S. market. Senior director of corporate communications Beth Llewelyn…

"Brain Age defies typical description. You can't really categorize it like you would a typical video game. It is based on some work that was done by a neuro scientist in Japan, who felt that certain exercises can really keep your brain sharp, increase blood flow to certain parts of the brain. And these can be very simple exercises. Math problems, math calculations, reading aloud. Almost like when people do crossword puzzles and Sudoku and other things. So we took that kind of knowledge, that learning and put it into a game and added elements to make it have a more game-like feel."

The game tracks your progress over days and weeks. You may or may not want to know what it says about your real brain age. The game sells for under 20 dollars. Of course you need a Nintendo DS to play it. It goes for about 130 dollars. Nintendo is looking for ways to broaden its appeal…with Sony giving it competition in the handheld space…with the Playstation Portable. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.