Wii nears one million consoles in Canada, drives Nintendo profits

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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TORONTO The Nintendo Wii is about to hit the million mark in Canada, having outdistanced its nearest competitor almost two-to-one in unit sales this year. And the video game console continues to be a hot item elsewhere, driving up Nintendos profit.

TORONTO The Nintendo Wii is about to hit the million mark in Canada, having outdistanced its nearest competitor almost two-to-one in unit sales this year. And the video game console continues to be a hot item elsewhere, driving up Nintendos profit.

Consumers snapped up some 318,000 units of the innovative game console in the first six months of 2008, bringing total Wii unit sales in Canada to 986,200, according to the NPD Group which tracks the video game industry. An NPD spokesman said he expected the Wii to surpass one million when the July figures come in.

The Wii has more than met Nintendos goal of attracting new gamers to the fold, with its interactive controller and imaginative use of accessories. Gamers can use the wireless Wii Remote controller as a tennis racket, hockey stick, fishing rod, weapon or in a myriad of other ways.

In NHL 2K9, due out Sept. 9 from 2K Sports, gamers can even stage an on-ice hockey fight by using the remote adding a never-before-seen layer of fun to hockey video games, according to Nintendo.

Wii Music, due out in the holiday season, will allow gamers to transform the Wii controllers into more than 60 instruments.

Worldwide, Nintendo sold 5.17 million Wii consoles between April and June, the companys first fiscal quarter, according to figures released Wednesday. Thats 1.7 million more than the same period last year.

Nintendo has positioned Wii as a machine that puts smiles on surrounding peoples faces by encouraging positive interaction among family members in the living room, Nintendo said in its first-quarter statement.

Certainly Nintendo is smiling.

Through June, Nintendo has sold 29.62 million Wiis worldwide since the consoles release in November 2006. That compares to worldwide sales of 19 million for the Xbox 360 and 14.4 million for the PlayStation 3, according to the latest count, The Associated Press reports.

Nintendo reported a first-quarter profit of 107.27 billion yen (US$996 million), compared to 80.25 billion yen in the same period last year.

The Kyoto-based company hopes to sell 25 million Wii consoles and 28 million of its handheld DS machines for the fiscal year through March 2009.

While the Xbox 360 holds down second place in total Canadian sales, the PlayStation 3 is outselling the 360 this year. Attracted by price cuts and the consoles built-in Blu-ray player, Canadians have bought some 170,500 PlayStation 3s this year, compared to 129,000 Xbox 360s.

The 360 was the first next-generation console out to market, in November 2005, followed by the Wii and PS3 a year later. The Xbox 360 console has sold a total of 840,700 units in Canada, compared to 487,600 for the PS3.



Organizations: Nintendo, NPD Group, PlayStation 3s The Associated Press

Geographic location: Canada, TORONTO, Blu

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