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Nintendo President Sketches Out Company Future

In an interview with Reuters today, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said that the company intends to launch its next console in 2005 or 2006.
"We are developing a new home video game console with a plan to release the new system around the same time as rival makers do," Iwata said. Iwata, who took the helm of the company last year from Hiroshi Yamauchi, said that the GameCube console would miss its sales target of 10 million units by over 10 percent this business year. Additionally, he said that game sales for the console would fall short of a 55-million-unit goal. As a result, the company is trying to come up with new ways to increase sales of the Gamecube, and has started focusing on its successor. But Iwata dismissed any idea that Nintendo would ever retreat from its battle with Microsoft and Sony. "When we withdraw from the home game console, that's when we withdraw from the video game business," Iwata said. Rather, he said the company was working on a series of Pokemon-based games for Gamecube, which will let gamers transfer characters and items back and forth between the console and the GBA. He also said that the company had not ruled out further price cuts for the Gamecube, but said no such changes were planned. Investors don't seem to be impressed with the company's outlook right now, however. Nintendo's stock is trading near a four-year low on the Tokyo exchange, and in the past year alone, their price has been sliced in half. It could get worse, too, since the yen has risen against the dollar, effectively cutting the company's profit margins in its export sales.

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