Even without the launch of the Wii, Nintendo will have a good shot at becoming the most successful video game hardware company this year. The manufacturer today said that it expects global sales of the portable DS console to come in at 20 million units, about three million units more than in 2005. Nintendo claims that nearly all of the growth in the U.S. market can be attributed to the DS - with overall 2006 growth so far being estimated at 11% with the DS and only 1.6% without DS hardware and software.
Nintendo believes that about 82 million DS games will be sold in 2006, a 9% gain over the 75 million games sold in 2005. "Numbers dramatically show the value of reaching out to the masses with products that are compelling and comfortable," says Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "And this perfectly sets the stage for our breakthrough Wii console, which appeals to both core players and current non-players with an intuitive control system and a price everyone can afford."
Retailers such as EB Games began to take pre-orders for the Nintendo Wii earlier today.