To bolster support for the just-released Nintendo DS and upcoming next-generation console (currently codenamed "Revolution"), Nintendo is apparently increasing funding for its advertising and research and development units.
According to the Nikkei Financial Daily, Nintendo is sinking another 2 billion yen ($19 million) into R&D -- primarily for the Revolution system, which may debut at E3 2005, but possibly also for the true successor to the Game Boy Advance, which Nintendo has mentioned in passing before -- raising the R&D budget from 20 billion to 22 billion yen, or $215 million USD.
The marketing department is receiving an even bigger boost in the form of 8 billion ($77 million), bringing their 2004 fiscal year budget from 50 billion yen to 58 billion yen, or $580 million USD. The new totals represent the most Nintendo has ever spent on either department.
In addition to the boosts received by marketing and R&D, Nintendo has also increased the funding of their manufacturing facilities, in order to get more DS units made and in stores. The manufacturing budget will be raised to 4 billion yen, or $39 million USD. It remains to be seen whether Nintendo will continue to keep these departments so well-funded into the new fiscal year; the company's financial report on April 1st should contain more details.