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Fidelity Investments Teaming Up With Nintendo For Online Services

A few days ago Nintendo issued a press release detailing the new partnership between it and Fidelity Investments. The companies plan to develop a new home trading system for financial services that utilize the NES in some fashion. A similar system has been setup in Japan and it appears that the American branch of Nintendo wants to capitalize on the millions of consoles already in homes across the country to offer new services.

As of now it appears that Nintendo will develop and manufacture a modem and controller that will attach to the NES as part of the NES Network. Interactive entertainment will be a huge part of this online initiative and should launch later next year. Fidelity will develop software cartridges to take advantage of the new network. Below is the official press release and news stories from around the country detailing the deal:

 

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:

FIDELITY INVESTMENTS AND NINTENDO TO DEVELOP HOME TRADING SYSTEM

Fidelity Investments, Nintendo Co. Ltd. and Nintendo of America Inc. today announced plans to jointly develop, manufacture and market a home trading system for financial services.

The system will give owners of the Nintendo Entertainment System,” currently owned by millions in the United States and Canada for home video game play, access to a wide range of Fidelity’s on-line financial services. The services offered include personal portfolio management, real time trading of securities and mutual funds, as well as access to financial market information through Fidelity’s home trading system.

Officials at Nintendo and Fidelity agree that the project between their firms represents a pivotal event for consumers. “This is a significant breakthrough in the electronic delivery of financial information and services,” said Jack Chafin, senior vice president of Fidelity Investments. “It reflects Fidelity’s continuing commitment to providing convenience to our customers. We think this will be a vital communication link in the 1990′ s.

Jerry Ruttenbur, vice president of network products at Nintendo of America Inc., believes the project is of major importance for his company as well. “This is a critical step toward the evolution of the Nintendo Entertainment System beyond traditional home video game play. We recognize this joint program with Fidelity Investments as an important development for the NES in the United States.”

Current plans call for Nintendo to develop and manufacture a modem and controller which will work with the NES and form a part of an “NES Network.” This network will provide interactive entertainment and informational products to NES owners. Nintendo plans to launch the “NES Network” in 1990. Fidelity will develop software cartridges for home securities trading and will make these cartridges available to its present and future customers. Fidelity is well known as a leading innovator of technology in the financial services industry. The firm won a Computerworld Smithsonian award for outstanding use of technology for Investors EXPRESS and FAST, Fidelity Automated Service Telephone. The award recognizes the role technology plays at Fidelity in making financial services more widely available to the individual investor.

Nintendo estimates that there will be 20 million American households with the NES by the end of 1989. Fidelity Investments currently manages more than $100 billion dollars for its mutual fund and brokerage customers.

Both Chafin and Ruttenbur agree that the new Nintendo/Fidelity service will benefit the American public. “This project between Nintendo and Fidelity adds an entirely new dimension to how consumers can access and use financial services,” said Chafin.

Nintendo of America Inc. is based in Redmond, Washington and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nintendo Company Ltd. of Kyoto, Japan, the world 1 s largest manufacturer and marketer of video games. Fidelity Investments is based in Boston, Massachusetts and is the nation’s largest privately held investment manager.

 

Nintendo Owners Soon Can Zap Stock Market

October 3, 1989|By ELLEN FORMAN, Business Writer

Fidelity Investments and Nintendo of America announced on Monday that they will jointly develop a securities trading system using the popular Nintendo video game machines as a base. The Fidelity system will work in conjunction with Nintendo`s U.S. interactive network, scheduled to debut in the United States in 1990.

The Nintendo network will compete with other established networks now on the market. These include Prodigy, owned by International Business Machines Corp. and Sears, Roebuck and Co.; and CompuServe, owned by H&R Block Inc. Both are personal computer-based system.

The core component of the Nintendo game, the control deck, will act as a network terminal. Nintendo plans to develop a modem and keyboard controller that will work with the control deck as an interactive terminal.

The two new pieces are expected to sell for under $200, said Jack Chafin, senior vice president of Fidelity.

Chafin said that Fidelity will develop a software cartridge that will be available in the second half of 1990. The company has not yet determined the cost of the cartridge or the cost of connection time to the computer network, but “it will be competitive with existing systems,“ he said.

Nintendo, a Japanese company with U.S. operations based in Redmond, Wash., has estimated that its games will be in 20 million homes, or 21 percent of U.S. households, by the end of this year.

Boston-based Fidelity manages about $100 billion in assets for its mutual fund and brokerage customers. It already offers trading capabilities for personal computer owners through its Investors Express system. Chafin said the company is developing the Nintendo cartridge because it wanted to bring trading capabilities to its customers through a system that is less technically complex than the personal computer.

In Japan, Nintendo`s “Family Computer“ network is now in operation, bringing information and video games to about 150,000 Japanese households.

 

Nintendo Plans to Offer Stock Trading in Homes

October 04, 1989|CARLA LAZZARESCHI | Times Staff Writer

Source: LA Times: http://articles.latimes.com/1989-10-04/business/fi-685_1_stock-trading

Fidelity Investments and video game maker Nintendo of America have announced plans to jointly develop an at-home electronic stock trading service using the popular video game system.

The new service, expected to become available by mid-1990, is modeled after a home shopping and information service offered by Nintendo’s parent company in Japan.

The service is based on the premise that the Nintendo game player, which packs the power of the earliest personal computers yet costs only about $80, can be used effectively as a home computer when it is attached to another powerful appliance: the telephone.

Although the stock trading service is the first one to use a video game player, it is hardly the first at-home shopping and information service. The at-home market has been tested, with often disastrous results, by a variety of publishing companies, most of which have abandoned it. The latest venture, Prodigy, was launched last year by a partnership of Sears, Roebuck & Co. and International Business Machines, but acceptance has been slow and the operation is relying heavily on the deep financial resources of its backers.

The Fidelty-Nintendo venture will give the estimated 20 million U.S. households with Nintendo game systems access to a wide range of Fidelity’s on-line financial services, including personal portfolio management and stock and mutual funds trading. Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund operator in the United States, currently manages more than $100 billion for its mutual fund and brokerage customers.

 

Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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