Iwata: Wii sales not harming DS

Nintendo president says console not cutting into handheld sales, believes his company might beat earnings targets.

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The Wii's strong debut has been a wellspring of recent good news for Nintendo, most recently with a near-sellout in Japan. However, some analysts felt that the "new-gen" console's success would come at the expense of the Mario factory's best-selling DS handheld. The logic was that consumers with limited budgets would have to choose between the two this holiday season.

Such worries do not apparently weigh on the brow of Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's president. "Some analysts say the largest rival of the Wii is the DS," he told the Reuters news service. "But if you take a look at DS sales in the United States in the Thanksgiving week or DS sales in Japan in the week of the Wii launch, there has been little impact."

By the end of its fiscal year on March 31, 2007, Nintendo now believes it will have sold 6 million Wiis and 20 million combined units of the DS and DS Lite. It currently predicts its annual profit will total 145 billion yen (around $1.26 billion), an increase of more than 60 percent, with annual sales rising 45 percent to 740 billion yen (approximately $6.44 billion).

Iwata told Reuters that he believes there's a chance that Nintendo will top its already rosy outlook. "'Confidence' could be too strong a word, but there is an emerging possibility," said Iwata regarding Nintendo beating its forecast. "We had come up with the current earnings forecasts before we sold even a single unit of the Wii and when we were not so sure about the cannibalization effect between the Wii and the DS."

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