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Nintendo sold 1.5 million Wii console and DS handheld video-game systems during Black Friday week, according to the Japanese company.
The announcement by Nintendo’s American arm shows the company’s determination not to be counted out against heavy competition from Sony and Microsoft in the battle for consumers’ living rooms and pockets , a competitive landscape that’s growing ever more cluttered as smartphones and smart TVs add game and entertainment features which were once the sole province of set-top video-game consoles and portable game players.
Nintendo said it sold more than 600,000 Wii consoles and 900,000 DS units between Nov. 21 and Nov. 27 in the U.S., according to its internal sales estimates. Nintendo offered multiple new colors for the Wii and bundled games and hardware to lure shoppers. The Wii costs $199 bundled with a Wii Remote Plus and two Nintendo games. The DSi XL comes with three games and sells for $179. The DSi is bundled with one game and sells for $149.
Those one-week numbers are a lot more than Nintendo sold in the whole month of October, according to sales data from market researcher NPD. But Nintendo did not say whether those numbers beat last year’s Black Friday week. In general, sales of the Wii and the DS have been much weaker than a year ago, as both systems have begun to show their age (The Wii launched in 2006 and the DS launched in 2004). Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console, by contrast, has had a stellar year, with sales up considerably from a year ago.
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and signals the beginning of the holiday sales season. But bargains were available throughout the week at most retailers (Black Friday refers to the day when retailers traditionally swing into the black, or a profit, for the year).
Reggie Fils-Aime, president of the Nintendo of America, said that Nintendo sold about 9,000 hardware systems for every hour during every day of Black Friday week. The Wii has had a relatively weak title line-up this fall, particularly since Nintendo delayed a new Zelda game for the Wii. But other big titles include Wii Party, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, FlingSmash, GoldenEye 007, and Disney Epic Mickey.