Nintendo: no plan to cut Wii, DS prices this year

TOKYO Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:27am EDT

Nintendo Co's Wii game console is displayed as a woman looks at a game software title for Wii at at a Sofmap store in Tokyo's Akihabara district April 24, 2008. Nintendo said it has no plan to cut the prices of its Wii console and DS handheld players this year, underscoring its confidence in continued demand for the Japanese videogame maker's two growth engines. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Nintendo Co's Wii game console is displayed as a woman looks at a game software title for Wii at at a Sofmap store in Tokyo's Akihabara district April 24, 2008. Nintendo said it has no plan to cut the prices of its Wii console and DS handheld players this year, underscoring its confidence in continued demand for the Japanese videogame maker's two growth engines.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd 7974.OS said it has no plan to cut the prices of its Wii console and DS handheld players this year, underscoring its confidence in continued demand for the Japanese videogame maker's two growth engines.

"Our earnings projection for the year is not based on hardware price cuts, and I don't think we are going to need them," Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told an analyst meeting on Friday.

Nintendo, which competes with Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Sony Corp (6758.T) in the global videogame industry, currently holds the leading position both in the console and the portable game markets.

Iwata's comment came one day after the creator of game characters such as Mario and Zelda said its operating profit more than doubled in the year ended March, and forecast a further 9 percent gain this year to 530 billion yen ($5.08 billion).

The outlook fell short of market expectations but analysts said the company forecast is believed to be on the conservative side. Nintendo, Japan's third-largest company in market value, revised up its earnings outlook three times in the year just ended.

Sony Corp (6758.T) slashed the price of its PlayStation 3 with a 20-gigabyte hard drive by 20 percent to 49,980 yen ($479) before the product launch in late 2006, and lowered it further to 44,980 yen last year to spur demand, while Nintendo has kept the Wii price unchanged since its launch at 25,000 yen.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka)

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