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Nintendo raises DS shipment projections, announces huge marketing push

Further details of Nintendo's launch plans for the Nintendo DS handheld console have emerged in a US teleconference, with the firm raising its projections for shipments of the handheld to over four million units this fiscal year.

Further details of Nintendo's launch plans for the Nintendo DS handheld console have emerged in a US teleconference, with the firm raising its projections for shipments of the handheld to over four million units this fiscal year.

Originally, Nintendo projected that it would ship 3.5 million units of the DS to retail before the end of its current financial year in March 2005, but it has now set four million as its target - and believes that it could exceed this, depending on manufacturing capacity.

That volume of units may be required, as the company plans to back up the launch of the DS with the largest marketing campaign in its history - with a $40 million spend planned for North America alone in the first six months.

The DS campaign, which will encompass advertising in print, TV and cinema as well as outdoor campaigns and the placement of 12,000 DS pods at retail outlets across North America, will target an older demographic than the Game Boy Advance did, according to the company.

No details of the launch software line-up for the console have yet been announced - we expect those to emerge at the company's planned press conference in Tokyo on October 7th - but it has been confirmed that a demo of Metroid Prime: Hunters will ship with the system, while the PictoChat application will be built into the console itself.

Analysts have largely responded positively to Nintendo's price and launch plans for the DS, with American Technology Research analyst P.J. McNealy describing the price points for the GBA SP and DS as "a solid combination to not only reach the kiddie market but also the 18-to 30 year-old demographic," and noting that the company's four million unit projection may actually be a conservative one.

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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