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Nintendo Drives U.S. Gaming Market Growth

According to NPD Group's latest market study, Nintendo was responsible for 69 percent of U.S. game industry growth in the first five months of 2007.

Nintendo has also found a way to reach coveted female gamers. Excluding Nintendo, U.S. gamers are 80/20 split male/female. Nintendo gamers are 67 percent male and 33 percent female. In Wii households 66 percent of those aged 25-49 play the console regularly. And about 50 percent of men 50 or older have tried the Wii.

Portables are driving much of today's game growth. As an example, 70 percent of U.S. spending on video games in 2002 was for console hardware and games, 30 percent for portables. In 2006, it was a 50/50 split.

Nintendo's DS handheld is responsible for the lion's share of that portable spending. Game spending by Nintendo buyers is skewing older in the U.S. as well.

Traditionally a bastion for young gamers, sales for Nintendo products in North and South America in 2005 was 28 percent by those 25 or older. In 2007, it increased to 32 percent. For those 18-24, the percentage increased from 15 to 21 percent over the same period. The Nintendo DS passed 40 million sold worldwide in the first half of 2007.

The Wii console launched in the fourth quarter of 2006, and is still sold out nearly everywhere. Nintendo promises it will be the number one console in this generation very soon. In the U.S. currently, there are 60 Wii games and 300 DS games available. By the end of 2007, there will be 100 Wii titles and 140 more DS titles.

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