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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wii Pricing and Gameboy talk with Iwata

BIZ: I know that Nintendo has not officially announced a price for the Wii, but a rumor we spotted this week in EGM suggests a $249 price tag. Do you want to comment on that?

SI: [Laughs] As you know, that is speculation and we did not comment on the price point at all. What we’ve been repeatedly saying is that it’s going to be an affordable price point, and when we say affordable, you may want to check our past records of price points, launching price points for any past hardware… I think you’ll agree that we always come up with an affordable price point. So when we announce the Wii price point in the near future, I believe you are going to say, “That’s an affordable price point.”

And talking specifically about the E3 show, I really don’t think that not making an announcement about price is anything unusual. Last year, Microsoft did not tell anything [about price] concerning the Xbox 360. Two years ago, Nintendo did not announce the price point or launch timing for the DS, and the same is true for the PSP with Sony. But in the near future we will be in a position to tell the exact information, so please look forward to it.

BIZ: We recently read a quote from you in Reuters, suggesting that the Game Boy may be phased out. What does the future hold for the Game Boy line?

SI: No, it’s not true after all. What we are repeatedly saying is that for whichever platform, we are always conducting research and development for the new system, be it the Game Boy, or new console or whatever. And what we just told the reporter was that in thinking about the current situation where we are enjoying great sales with the DS and that we are now trying to launch the Wii, it’s unthinkable for us to launch any new platform for the handheld system, including the new version of the GBA… Perhaps they misunderstood a part of this story, but as far as the handheld market is concerned [right now] we really want to focus on more sales of the DS; that’s all.


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