Tokyo: Shares in Nintendo Co Ltd jumped 7% on Wednesday after strong holiday sales in the United States helped erase market concerns that momentum for its Wii game console had peaked.
Nintendo’s US Wii sales exceeded 3 million units last month, up sharply from 2.14 million units a year earlier, thanks to a series of strong new game titles and a price cut, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told Reuters on Tuesday.
Nintendo cut the Wii’s price by 20% in the second half of last year and launched the “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” action game in a bid to breathe vigour back into hardware demand.
Iwata also said Nintendo’s handheld game player, the DS, likely posted record sales in the United States in 2009, and total sales of the portable machine have reached 40 million units in Europe, becoming the top-selling video game hardware ever in the region.
Shares in Nintendo were up 7% at ¥24,540, adding ¥228 billion ($2.5 billion) to its market value. The benchmark Nikkei average was up 0.6%.
“We think the Wii hardware performance is a positive surprise,” KBC Securities analyst Hiroshi Kamide said in a research note, adding that it boded well for the next business year which starts in April.
Shares in Nintendo, locked in a three-way battle with Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp in the global video game industry, had jumped more than fivefold in the two years to October 2007, driven by white hot demand for the Wii and DS.
Since then, however, the stock has lost two-thirds of its value as sales of its hardware and game titles slowed.