mario doll-LJULY 22, 2008 • The Nintendo Wii took 84 weeks to reach sales of one-half million in Australia, according to GfK Australia. That performance makes the Wii the platform swiftest to reach that mark. The previous record holder was the PlayStation 2, which reached 500,000 units sold in 107 weeks. In related news, Nintendo reported on July 30 that its net income for the first fiscal quarter ending June 30 rose to ¥107.3 billion ($99 million) from ¥80.3 billion a year earlier.

Impact: No big surprises here. Australia’s taste in games closely parallels that of the U.S. and U.K.  However, prices for game systems and software are very high.  For example, the popular Xbox 360 and PS3 title Grand Theft Auto IV retailed for $120 in Australia. The fact that the Wii has the most buzz and is the most affordable option makes it a clear choice. The PS2 has sold about 2.3 million units in Australia and we expect the Wii to pass that mark, but probably not by much.  On a worldwide basis, it will be hard for the Wii to break the installed base figures set by the PS2.