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Investors Optimistic Of THQ uDraw Holiday Potential

Share prices were up for publisher THQ just days before high-traffic Black Friday, as the company recently released the uDraw drawing tablet for Nintendo Wii.
Share prices were up for publisher THQ just days before high-traffic Black Friday, as the company recently released the uDraw drawing tablet for Nintendo Wii. While THQ is investing heavily in its core gamer offerings, it is aiming the uDraw peripheral, launched November 14, at more mainstream audiences. Shares of THQ were up 8 percent to $5.17 in late afternoon trading on the Nasdaq, and since the peripheral's launch, were up 21 percent. "Investors are thinking that Black Friday will be big for that product," Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia told Reuters. uDraw comes bundled with what the publisher describes as an "expansive drawing, coloring and art-based video game" called uDraw Studio. The package sells for $69, and compatible games like Pictionary currently sell for $29. When THQ unveiled the device in August this year, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that he was "confident that THQ will sell its planned production of 1 million tablets over the balance of the fiscal year," which ends in March 2011. The publisher this month said it increased production targets to 1.3 million, up from 1 million. THQ CEO Brian Farrell previously said that the company is working closely with Nintendo on the release of the product, stating that the console maker was providing good support for the device, even helping with uDraw's design. In THQ's most recent earnings announcement, Farrell said that he expects uDraw and WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 to lead sales for THQ during the holiday quarter. uDraw ranked ninth on Amazon's video game charts as of this writing.

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