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Analyst: Are Wii And DS Good For The Market?

In his latest investor note, Kaufman Bros analyst Todd Mitchell examines Nintendo's latest financial report and concludes that, while they may be bringing new gamers into the industry, the move "not be a positive dynamic for the major video game publisher
In his latest investor note, Kaufman Bros analyst Todd Mitchell examines Nintendo's latest financial report and concludes that, while they may be bringing new gamers into the industry, the move "not be a positive dynamic for the major video game publishers." As reported, Nintendo's fiscal 2007 report showed 23.56 million DS units and 5.84 million Wiis sold, with 123.55 million units of DS software, and 23.84 million units of Wii software -- all far above original expectations from the company and analysts alike. Much of that software success, however, came from Nintendo itself, with New Super Mario Bros. moving 9.5 million copies, Brain Age selling 8.1 million copies and Nintendogs pushing 7.0 million, with newcomers Pokemon Diamond and Pearl already selling 5.2 million in Japan alone. Wii software, too, was similarly first party dominated by The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and unbundled versions of Wii Sports. All of this, says Mitchell, leads him to believe that "Nintendo's success with the DS and Wii bodes poorly for the publishers." "Both [the Wii and DS] appear to be bringing new gamers into the market. However, this may not be a positive dynamic for the major video game publishers. Nintendo has not only increased the size of the market, but it has also re-segmented it in its own favor, in our view," he said. "Nintendo is dominating software sales on its popular hardware platforms, leaving the publishers with a smaller slice of an only somewhat incrementally larger pie," added Mitchell, "Moreover, we feel that the likely shorter product cycles of Nintendo's platforms puts the publishers in a permanent catch-up mode." Despite the ramp up of various third party publishers turning more development efforts to both the DS and Wii platforms, Mitchell concludes that Nintendo's domination of the software landscape isn't a trend due to end anytime soon, adding, "the upcoming releases of Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption will highlight this phenomena this holiday season."

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