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Nintendo launches add-ons for Wii

11 октября 2007

Nintendo announced a slew of new add-ons and services for its Wii games console in an effort to bolster sales for the holiday season, sending shares in the Japanese games maker to a record high. The company unveiled the Wii Balance Board, which looks like a bathroom scale but can sense when a person moves and twists on it.

The new device, which will start selling in Japan in December with Wii Fit software for Y8,800 ($75), allows users to practice yoga, head soccer balls and ski jump.

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's president, said yesterday that the company could not be complacent in spite of record-breaking sales of the Wii and the hand-held DS portable games player.

"There are a lot of people who say [the Wii] is just a fad," said Mr Iwata. "We cannot just stand by and remain satisfied with the current growth rates."

Nintendo said it would also strengthen its line-up of games that users can download on the internet, which has been one of the company's weakest points, according to analysts.

Wii Ware, the games download service, will launch in March in Japan, featuring games such as Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and Doctor Mario.

Nintendo has expanded the gaming market with its Wii console and its DS handheld. Mr Iwata said yesterday that females accounted for 51 per cent of all Wii users and 53 per cent of all DS users compared with just 11 per cent of all Sony PlayStation 3 users.

Nintendo's Wii has triumphed as the world's best-selling next-generation games console, finally edging past Microsoft's Xbox 360 in sales, in spite of having launched a year later.  The move has put Nintendo back squarely in the position of the top maker of consoles in the $30bn global games market - a position that it last held 17 years ago with the Nintendo and Super Nintendo game consoles.

The Nintendo presentation came a day after Sony said it would cut the price of its PS3 and launch a new 40-gigabyte model with the hope that the move would ignite Christmas sales.

Shares in Nintendo rallied 4.9 per cent to Y65,800, a record closing high. The company this year overtook Sony in terms of market capitalization.

Источник: Financial Times

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