Wii sales to reach 50 million by spring 2009

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Nintendo expects to sell 25 million Wii consoles in the next 12 months, company executives say..

If the forecasts are correct this would represent a doubling of the Wii user base to 50 million by spring 2009.

Almost 25 million Wii consoles were shipped in the first 18 months after its launch in November 2006. The company shipped 18.6 million Wii consoles during the past year.

The unprecedented success of the low-cost console drove a 50 percent rise in annual net profits at Nintendo to US$2.5 billion on sales of US$16.2 billion. These figures, and Nintendo's sales data, are for the Japanese financial year which ended 31 March.

"Nintendo's strategy is to accelerate the current sales momentum from 'must-have for every family' to 'must-have for everyone'," the company said in a financial release.

The company will achieve this by "continuously introducing new and unique software, and new services which take advantage of its expanded installed base".

Nintendo's older DS games system is also still selling well, with 30.3 million shipped last year and a forecast of a slight decline to 28 million shipments during the current financial year.

Nintendo's many parts suppliers and manufacturing partners around the world also stand to benefit if Wii shipments ramp up.

Earnings at Mitsumi Electric and Hosiden, which sell parts to, and undertake assembly work for, Nintendo, receive a greater boost from the Wii than the Nintendo DS.

"We think that Nintendo's projections look like good news for these two companies," said Takami Kono of Nomura Securities.
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