BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: It was quite a frenzy. Take a look at that, at last night's midnight launch of Microsoft's new video game, Halo II (search). But beware, its competitors are right behind them.
On November 22, Nintendo will roll out its new dual screen handheld portable system called Nintendo DS (search).
Does it have what it takes to win the gaming wars? Let's ask Reggie Fils-Aime (search). He's Nintendo's executive vice president of sales and marketing.
Thanks for joining us.
REGGIE FILS-AIME, EVP, SALES AND MARKETING, NINTENDO: Thank you, Brenda.
BUTTNER: So do I have to open up my wallet? I've got a kid at home who loves this stuff. Is this a must-have?
FILS-AIME: This is the must-have item for this holiday season. And I'll tell you, Brenda, the great news is that it's at a mass market-ready price. The hardware is going to be $150 retail, the software between $30 and $40. So it really will be the item to have, and when you find it, you better buy it because it's going to run out.
BUTTNER: Wow. That's a bit more than her allowance. But we'll have to talk about it.
But seriously, you've got a lot of competition. You've got, you know, Microsoft's Halo, which is bringing up its own operating system and then Sony PlayStation is coming up with a portable next year. These are getting to be really fierce battles.
FILS-AIME: They really are. But here's the great news. What Nintendo has always been known for is innovation. And with Nintendo DS, we're continuing to innovate. Two screens, one of them touch screen, two different types of wireless. It really is a game for this generation's handheld players.
BUTTNER: You have to, like, really — I can't even play PlayStation. This is tough stuff, huh?
FILS-AIME: Well, the good news about this, we've got a couple of different things that are part of the hardware system. One is called PictoChat (search), which is an easy communications system. You can do it. Your kids can do it.
Plus, all of the games that will be available at launch, a total of 12 different games. It really is an easy system to get into.
BUTTNER: This — Halo, basically, is pushing Xbox into the black. While it's still a small player, do you see that coming up as a real contender?
FILS-AIME: You know, Microsoft has done a strong piece of business overall. They still are losing money on their console business.
One of the things that we pride ourselves on at Nintendo is we make money. We drive strong profitability, not only for our hardware systems but our third party publishers enjoy strong profitability. You know, we think this is a battle. It's going to be a battle to the end.
BUTTNER: And when — when is the victor announced? Is this going to be the holiday season?
FILS-AIME: I don't know if the victor will be announced this holiday season, but certainly in the handheld wars we think that the victor will be Nintendo and Nintendo DS, and that will be announced this holiday season.
BUTTNER: And what kind of sales are you expecting?
FILS-AIME: We're looking to bring in a total of a million units into North America, and we're sure we're going to be selling out by December 25. In total we'll sell about four million units on a worldwide basis by the end of our fiscal, which is March 31. So we're looking at very strong gains for us.
BUTTNER: I hope my daughter isn't watching, but in any case, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
FILS-AIME: Thank you.
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