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Harrison: We'll Sell 35 Million Wiis in U.S. by 2012
by James Brightman

Nintendo of America marketing chief George Harrison is very confident in the Wii - so confident that he's now predicting that 35 million units will be sold in the United States by 2011/2012. He doesn't think the PS3 and 360 are "motivating the market."

According to a new Bloomberg report, Nintendo is so encouraged by the great start the Wii has had that the company is now anticipating U.S. sales of 35 million units by year 2012. To put that in perspective, the PS2 (probably the most popular console to date) has sold a bit over 38 million units in the U.S. so far. So if the Wii can reach that goal within five years, it will have done very well indeed.

In fact, Nintendo of America marketing head George Harrison indicated that his company may even reach that goal some time in 2011. In order to do so, he said that Nintendo is increasing Wii production at factories in China to meet demand.

Nintendo has sold 2.5 million Wii consoles in the U.S. through April according to NPD data (compared with 1.3 million for PS3 and 5.4 million for Xbox 360), but the company likely could have sold even more units in the time since launch last November had more stock been made available. "Demand is much greater than we anticipated," Harrison said. "A year ago no one thought we would be in this position."

As every day passes by and the Wii continues to do well, Nintendo feels the path they've decided to take with the Wii (motion sensing gameplay and broadening the audience over high-end visuals) was the right one.

"We're starting to see in the performance of the PS3 and Xbox 360 that that's not necessarily motivating the market the way it used to," added Harrison. "So we're going to start work on future technology only when we believe it's necessary."

Of course, Nintendo is always working on future technology. In fact, they probably started thinking about the next console as soon as the Wii was launched. It'll certainly be interesting to see how the console race works itself out and what direction Nintendo takes with its next platform.
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