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Fils-Aime: Holidays More Important To Nintendo Than Rivals

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said that the holidays are "more important" to his company than they are to competitors, as the last two months of 2009 brought in half of Nintendo's sales.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said his company expects a strong holiday season for the Nintendo Wii, even in the face of increasing competition from high-definition rivals and their new controller and game offerings. "The holidays are more important to Nintendo than to other manufacturers," said Fils-Aime at the BMO Capital Markets Annual Digital Entertainment Conference in New York on Thursday, as listened to by Gamasutra. "We have a distinct edge when it comes to gift-giving, and it's no doubt because of the familiarity and recognition of both our brand and key franchises," he said. Fils-Aime said that nearly half of all Nintendo hardware sales for last year came in the last two months of 2009. "For everyone else that number was just over 40 percent," he added. "The disparity on the software side is even greater," Fils-Aime continued. "For Nintendo platforms, 44 percent of all game sales came during November and December. For the rest of the industry, that number was only 33 percent." Fils-Aime said he expects "the same kind of advantage here at the end of 2010" thanks to key holiday releases like Donkey Kong Country Returns and Disney Epic Mickey on Wii, and Golden Sun on DS. Nintendo is also counting on consumers to show up for Activision and Eurocom's newly released GoldenEye 007 for Wii. The original Nintendo 64 game from the 1990s sold over 5 million copies in the U.S., Fils-Aime said. Also for the holidays, Nintendo has new hardware offerings that could drive growth over last year. "From a Nintendo perspective, we have two red bundles in the marketplace that we didn't have last year. ... We've already begun getting a broad range of products for consumers." Fils-Aime cited NPD Group figures which said Nintendo has so far sold 43.1 million Nintendo DS hardware units and 30.4 million Wiis in the U.S. alone. The Xbox 360 trails in U.S. sales with 21.9 million units, while the PSP has 17.7 million sales and the PlayStation 3 has 13.5 million sales in the country. The exec added that the Wii Balance Board sold 12 million units since its 2008 launch alongside Wii Fit. Missing the holidays this year is the Nintendo 3DS handheld, which Fils-Aime said has "overwhelming third-party support" and will cater to a wide range of gamer tastes.

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