Nintendo Surpasses Sony In Market Value

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The success of the Nintendo Wii Vs the Xbox 360 and the Sony PS3 has driven Nintendo to surpass Sony’s market value, a company with eight times more revenue.

Nintendo surpassed that of Sony, a company with eight times more revenue, underscoring the success of the Wii game console in outselling rival PlayStation 3.

Shares of Nintendo rose to a record 46,350 yen, valuing the company at 6.57 trillion yen ($53 billion), and overtaking Sony’s 6.48 trillion yen capitalization in trading today. Nintendo’s stock closed 0.8 percent lower at 45,100 yen.

Sony, which overtook Nintendo as the world’s biggest console maker after PlayStation 2’s introduction in 2000, suffered production delays and slow sales at its latest player. Wii’s lower price and a wand-like controller that players swing like a sword or tennis racquet helped Nintendo widen its sales lead over the PlayStation 3 in Japan last month.

 

“Nintendo’s strength is its ability to create a new market,” said Takeshi Koyama, an analyst with Mizuho Securities Co., who raised his rating on the video-game industry today by one notch to “moderately bullish” from “neutral.”

Tokyo-based research firm Enterbrain Inc. said Nintendo sold 251,794 Wii machines in May in Japan, topping PlayStation 3 sales by a five-to-one margin. The PlayStation 3 trailed the Wii by four to one in April. Sales were boosted by games including “Wii Sports” and the latest “Zelda” role-playing title.

Nintendo sold 338,000 Wii players in the U.S., the world’s largest video-game market, in May, compared with 81,600 PlayStation 3 units, according to data compiled by NPD Group Inc. Microsoft Corp. sold 154,900 of its Xbox 360 machines.

Sales Size

Nintendo, also the maker of DS handheld player, may exceed Tokyo-based Sony in sales this year. Nintendo posted revenue of 966.5 billion yen in the year ended March 2007, and forecast 1.14 trillion yen this business year.

“We thank the high evaluation on us from the market,” said Ken Toyoda, a Nintendo spokesman. “We want to meet market expectations with expansion of our DS and Wii sales.”

Sony reported 1.02 trillion yen in sales at its unprofitable game business in the past fiscal year, about 12 percent of total revenue of 8.30 trillion yen. The company, which gets about two- thirds of operating profit from consumer electronics, didn’t disclose a sales forecast for the games unit.

 

Sony plans to more than double its software lineup to more than 200 titles worldwide and increase the number of downloadable games this fiscal year to boost sales.

Playing Cards

Nintendo, founded in 1889 as a seller of playing cards, is spurring a resurgence in the $30 billion video-gaming market.

Its two-year-old handheld DS player, Nintendo’s best-selling game machine ever, uses a stylus instead of button controls, making it easier for users to play Frisbee with their virtual pets, practice calligraphy and draw pictures. Nintendo is also looking to capture an older audience with a “brain-training” game and tutorials for cooking and languages.

To boost sales in the U.S., Nintendo will relocate U.S. marketing and public relations employees to New York and San Jose, moving them closer to major sales and research markets.

Nintendo’s sales have not reached their potential, spokesman Toyoda said last week. The company has in the past sold about twice as many consoles in North America than in Japan or Europe, he said.

Nintendo has so far sold about 2.37 million Wii consoles in the U.S., 2 million in Japan and 1.47 million in other regions, including Europe, since the November debut, he said.

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