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Nintendo will thrive "regardless of downturns"

Exec underlines company attitude that Sony and Microsoft aren't considered rivals

The CEO of Nintendo Korea, Mineo Koda, has dismissed suggestions that the Wii and DS manufacturer will be adversely affected by the onset of global recession, saying instead that "regardless of downturns, consumers pursue something fun".

"Sales of our products do not depend on whether the economy is good or not, but whether we introduce fun products or not," he told the Asian News Network. "I realised this through my experience in the videogame industry,"

His words come at a time when Nintendo's traditional rival in Japan, Sony, looks likely to make its first loss in 14 years as the PlayStation 3 is expected to have sold less than a quarter of the number of units as the Wii in the US in December.

But according to Koda, the company considers neither Microsoft nor Sony as rivals in the marketplace: "People often ask such questions, and we say our competitor is neither those companies, but consumer indifferent to games," he said.

The company launched the Wii in South Korea last April and the DS in January 2007, with the latter now having sold 2 million units in the territory - but Koda notes there is still a significant challenge ahead.

"As there were many violent games, many parents had negative images of games," he explained. "We face a major challenge of changing those negative images.

"We believe that the Korean market has growth potential as there are many people who are not interested in online games and who used to play online games, but do not play them anymore," he added.

Phil Elliott avatar

Phil Elliott