Nintendo of America officials say sales of the new Nintendo 64 video game system are expected to top at least 1.6 million systems by the end of the year.
“Nintendo 64 hardware and software retail sales will have averaged more than $5 million a day from our Sept. 29 launch through Dec. 31,” Peter Main, Nintendo executive vice president of sales and marketing, said Friday.
The 1.6 million system sales in three months makes Nintendo 64 “easily the fastest selling system ever,” he said. “Our sales rate is three times that of our nearest competitor when its system launched a year ago.”
For consumers unable to find a Nintendo 64 before the holidays, Main said, another 500,000-700,000 systems will be shipped to North America between Jan. 1 and March 31.
The company said fourth-quarter sales of 1.6 million units at $199.95 each compared favorably with those of the holiday season’s other hot item, the Tickle Me Elmo doll, whose shipments according to published reports totaled about 1 million units at an average retail price of under $30.
“With a half-billion dollars in total revenue in just three months’ time, Nintendo 64 became a sizable industry all by itself,” Main said.
The company said the product launch helped reinvigorate the entire video game sector.
Independent sales data show that since the Nintendo 64 introduction, total monthly industry sales have jumped about 30 percent over last year. Total video game revenues for all of 1996 should wind up about 17 percent ahead of 1995, Nintendo said.
Nintendo Co. Ltd. of Kyoto, Japan, is the leader in the wordldwide $15 billion retail video game industry. Nintendo of America, based in Redmond, serves as headquarters of Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere.