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DS is winning the battle, says Yarnton

Nintendo exec David Yarnton has dismissed suggestions that the company took a risk with the DS, observing that Nintendo now has a 75 per cent share of the UK's handheld market.

Nintendo exec David Yarnton has dismissed suggestions that the company took a risk with the DS, observing that the company has taken a 75 per cent share of the UK's handheld market in the past two weeks.

"One of the things people are saying is that it's a bit risky, the things that we've done. A bit risky when we launched Nintendo DS as a handheld console, where it's got voice recognition and touch screen, two screens, all these things. Well, it wasn't a risk; if we did nothing, that was the risk," Yarnton said.

"We had the market to ourselves, and then when another company came along and decided they wanted to get into our swimming pool, a lot of people thought hey, that's going to be a real problem," he went on.

"For 2004 in handheld sales, which included our Game Boy and Nintendo DS, we had sales of about a million units. We then looked for 2005 as our opposition were coming in at increasing our business by 50 per cent."

According to Yarnton, "A lot of people said, you know, that's crazy because the market's just not big enough - there's someone else coming in."

But, he said, Nintendo did achieve that 50 per cent - and, "Looking at this year, we'll get another 30 per cent increase of Nintendo DS. In fact, at the moment we're running ahead of that schedule."

Yarnton observed that 1.7 million DS units have now been sold in the UK, adding that week by week, Game Boy and DS sales give Nintendo a 75 per cent share of the handheld market. By the end of 2006, the company expects to have sold around 2.7 million DS units.

His comments came at an event held in London last night to promote GAME's operations in Spain. The retailer doubled the size of its Spanish business last year, adding around 50 new stores, and plans to add a similar number again over the coming year.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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