Financial Results Briefing - Apr. 25, 2008  Satoru Iwata, President
Taking this opportunity, I would also like to explain about the most recent business environment surrounding us.
First of all, about Nintendo DS. For those who are living in Japan, the thing which is of utmost interest must be...
Hasn't DS lost its momentum? More specifically, DS was sold through to the Japanese customers at record speed, with more than 22million units sold within less than three years from the Japan launch, which made Nintendo DS the best-selling video game platform in the history of Japanese video games, but recently, some people say that DS appears not to have the strong momentum it used to have before.
This graph compares the sell-thru numbers of portable game machines so far this year with the same period one year ago.
When we look at the DS hardware sales a year ago, represented by the light pink color bar, the weekly sell-thru hardly dropped below 100,000 units, and it was not unusual to see more than 150,000 unit sales/week.
When we look at the red bar, which represents DS hardware sell-thru of this year, it is true that it drops significantly below last year’s level.
Also, when we focused upon the most recent one month or so, even Sony’s PSP is taking the lead.
When you look at a graph like this, some may say that DS has already reached its saturation point. Earlier today, I explained that we are expecting to ship 28million units of DS hardware, but with the situation like this, some of you may be concerned if the 28 million unit shipment target might be too ambitious. However, the most recent trend observed in Japan has not been applied to overseas markets at all.
Based on the DS and PSP sell-thru data disclosed by NPD Group, this graph compares the weekly sales of the 1st three months of this year with those of last year. Since the NPD Group’s reported monthly data sometimes covers of 4 or 5 weeks, we convert these numbers into the weekly data, which we can then more precisely understand the changes in the sales pace.
In the United States, both last year and this year, DS has faced serious out-of-stock situations in January. When you focus upon the sell-thru numbers in and after February, you will understand that DS has shown even stronger sales than in the previous year.
DS’ strong business is even more apparent in Europe.
We have gathered the data available in major European countries to compare the European weekly sell-thru of this year with those of last year. As you can see, the current European sales pace is even higher than when the DS sales were explosive in Japan.
One of the elements which kept up DS’s momentums in North America and Europe is...
Nintendogs that we launched in 2005.
This software did not show a huge leap in Japan, but in the U.S. and in Europe, this software has been consistently selling very well, for a very long time.
More than two and half years have passed since Nintendogs launched in the U.S. and in Europe, but it is still selling well and driving up the hardware sales. The cumulative sales of this software has reached 18.67million units.
And, another element is...
Brain Training software launched in North America and Europe in 2006.
Even after this software caused Brain Training sensation in Japan, many were skeptical about its sales potential in the overseas markets. The result has betrayed the expectations in a good way.
No one in the U.S. video game industry could foresee that 2 million units of this Brain Training software would be sold. The game, called “Brain Age” in the U.S., has become a smash hit in the country. European sales of Brain Training have exceeded those of Japan where Brain Training sensation originated, and it has yet to show signs of slowing down. As of today, the cumulative global shipment of this software has reached 12.98million.