DS pays off for Nintendo

Ian Rowley

Last week, my colleagues Kenji Hall and Cliff Edwards wrote an article highlighting just tough it will be for Sony to make the PlayStation 3 pay. One analyst noted that the pricey PS3 may lose $2 billion in its first year.

Game rival Nintendo has no such worries. For one thing, analysts and gamers seem to only have good things to say about the Wii, the Kyoto-based company's next generation console which is expected in November, just ahead of the PS3. Likely to retail at about $250, it will be at least half the price of the gadget-packed PS3 and could eat into te PlayStation's traditional dominance in the console sector.

What's more, Nintendo's DS is still outstripping Sony's PlayStation Portable. Yesterday, Nintendo posted results for the three months through the end of June. During the quarter, unit sales of the DS tripled to 4.54 million, compared to a year earlier. That helped net earnings increase 10% to $134.3 million and sales by 85%. Nintendo also upped its annual earings forecaset 27% to $715 million. Key to the DS's popularity has been tempting more women and over-35s to play games, such as Brain Training For Adults and Nintendogs. Nintendo's stock price is up 84% in the last 12 months.

Of course, the success of the DS isn't much of a guide to how the Wii will perform, but if it does half as well as its stablemate, Sony will be looking on nervously.