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Nintendo plans to sell more than 100 million Wii game consoles during its lifespan, the company’s president said on Thursday. The bold statement outlines that Nintendo now considers itself as a leading console market player, not a survivor, and also gives a signal to game developers to start producing titles for Wii.

“Sony’s PS2 sales of 100 million units is an extraordinary number that our home game console business has not achieved. But if we can make our bid to expand the gaming population a continued success, we could exceed that,” said Satory Iwata, Nintendo president, in an interview with Reuters news-agency.

Nintendo sold 5.8 million units of the Wii by March 2007, and aims to sell another 14 million during the current business year to March 2008. The company is currently so optimistic that it officially confessed that it does not know how many Wii game consoles will be needed by the market and that shortages of the machine may persist. Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has sold 120 million of PlayStation 2 game consoles so far.

Due to its relatively low price and focus on casual or novice gamers, Wii has quickly become popular among consumers. But the software developers yet have to catch up with their titles designed for Wii, as a lot of game creators did not consider Wii seriously at first. However, with over 2.5 million consoles sold in the U.S. alone, Wii is something hard to ignore.

Nintendo Wii console features IBM’s custom PowerPC architecture-based microprocessor named Broadway clocked at 729MHz and code-named Hollywood chip with built-in graphics core, DSP and I/O features from ATI that operates at 243MHz, earlier reports suggested. Nintendo Wii uses 91MB of memory in total: 23MB of “main” 1T-SRAM, 64MB of “external” 1T-SRAM and 3MB texture buffer on the GPU. Nintendo’s Wii does not feature a hard disk drive, instead, it boasts with 512MB of flash memory, but the console will also have a card reader, which will allow installing more memory.

Nintendo set the recommended retail price of ?25 000 (about $204) in Japan, $249 in the U.S. and ?249 ($342) in Europe.

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