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Nintendo Expects Little Profit On Wii; Increases DS Production

Talking at a marketing event in Japan, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata spoke on a multitude of issues, revealing that the Wii is expected to make little contribution to the company's next full-year profits.
Speaking at a marketing event in Japan, as reported by Reuters and Famitsu.com, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has said that the Wii console is initially expected to make little contribution to the company’s next full year profits. Iwata confirmed that Nintendo expects to sell six million Wii consoles worldwide in the period ending March 31st, 2007 (4 million before the end of the calendar year) and 17 million units of Wii software. If the company does not expect these targets to produce any significant profit for the company it suggests, contrary to Nintendo’s usual practices, that the hardware will be sold at or near a loss. No release date or price is yet known for the Wii, although Iwata announced that a date would be announced “before September”. The only new pricing information given was a suggestion that both new and retro virtual console titles could be sold for a price of between ¥500 and ¥1,000 ($4.41 to $8.83). A new game was revealed for the Wii, though, in the form of Pokemon Battle Revolution which will serve the same purpose for Pokemon Diamond/Pearl on the Nintendo DS as Pokemon Stadium did for the Game Boy Advance Pokemon titles. The graphics shown for the game appear markedly more advanced than those shown for Wii titles at E3, adding further to confusion over the console’s exact graphical abilities. In discussing the Nintendo DS, Iwata announced that production of the DS Lite console would be increased from 1.6 million units per month to between 2 and 2.2 million units per month. No comment appears to have been made, though, on rumors that production of the original version of the console is being halted. Nintendo also confirmed that a total of ten Nintendo DS titles had now shipped over a million units in Japan, with 32 percent of Japanese owners purchasing Animal Crossing: Wild World, 23 percent Mario Kart DS, 14 percent Tetris DS and 20 percent New Super Mario Bros. In other updates, the Opera Web browser is now scheduled for a July release in Japan, with the Oneseg TV tuner scheduled for an autumn release at approximately half the price of the DS Lite console itself. Finally, Iwata commented on connectivity between the Wii and Nintendo DS, indicating again that the Wii would be used to download demos to the Nintendo DS. The Nintendo DS will also be able to function as a touch screen controller for the Wii, while Nintendo DS games will be “expanded” via Wii – possibly referring to some form of Game Boy Player style emulation.

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