Check out what Nintendo of Europe's head of marketing has to say about the GBA SP launching in Europe. Plus, you can catch his thoughts on the N-Gage.
Dow Jones recently conducted an interview with David Gosen, the director of marketing for Nintendo of Europe, about the upcoming launch of the Game Boy Advance SP in the European market. 400,000 units will be available at the system launch and 30% to 40% of them have already been sold on pre-order. Gosen said that they expect the units to sell "very quickly." The GBA SP has already shipped 2 million units so far worldwide. The new system will retail for €129 while the older GBA retails for €99. Nintendo plans to sell a total of 20 million Game Boy Advance units thru March 31, 2004, compared to last fiscal year's 15 million.
Gosen said he expects the GBA SP to appeal to an older group of gamers who are into stylish gadgets, which will add to the already 6 million GBA user base in Europe. The GBA SP is very similar to these stylish gadgets. Its slick folding design makes it appealing, and it weighs only 143 grams, which is less than many cell phones. Gosen said that, "There is a perception that the old Game Boy is for a younger audience, but this model looks like a portable DVD player." Because of its stylish looks, Nintendo expects it to sell well to the older crowd.
The European GBA SPs will also include a voucher good for €50 off the price of a Nintendo Gamecube. Nintendo is currently backing the GBA SP with a €10 million ad campaign, and will increase the campaign to €30 if all the vouchers are cashed.
When asked about Nokia's forthcoming N-Gage handheld, Gosen said he doesn't see it as a threat and doesn't think it will make much of a dent in the Game Boy market. He also said, "Our machine doesn't compromise on the technological architecture - it is designed for gamers. People that want to buy games will buy a gaming machine." He was also doubtful that Nokia would be able to match the amount of games available on Nintendo's handheld, and suspects that cell phone companies could take up to a year or longer to catch up with the needs of their gamers. He was also concerned about the price of the unit. Either way, Gosen said they are still watching the N-Gage situation, "very, very closely."