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January 1990 Winter CES: Nintendo Rides Wave Of Success

Nintendo has announced some impressive statistics regarding its place at the top of the video game industry. First and foremost the Game Boy is a certifiable hit with over 1 million sold during 1989. Keep in mind the library is still tiny and tons of third parties (over 50!) will be publishing new games in 1990, where Nintendo expects the Game Boy to really come into its own. In fact, Nintendo is predicting a five-fold increase in hardware sold for the year with 5 million projected to be in households across the U.S. by year-end. While and impressive 2 million Game Boy games sold in 1989, they expect 20 million to fly off store shelves this year!

Of course the bread and butter of Nintendo’s success is its NES home console and it continues to impress. At the end of 1989 22% of U.S. households had a NES and Nintendo predicts that number will jump up to 29% by the end of 1990 – roughly 26 million consoles will have been sold. Of course software is where the real money is made and Nintendo is expecting to sell 25 million pieces in 1990 just from its own lineup! An additional 35-45 million games are expected to sell from third party licensees. With Super Mario Bros. 3 just around the corner (March 1990 release date), these numbers might just become reality! 18.7 million copies of Super Mario Bros. have been sold, 3.5 million of Super Mario Bros. 2 and 2.8 million of The Legend of Zelda.

Nintendo is appealing to a wide array of gamers, both kids and adults included. The number of female players has jumped to 32.6% and 43% of all gamers are now over the age of 18 (double what it was in 1986). Games like Tetris are contributing to the variety of games on the system and thus a wider audience has become interested in video games. This all bodes well for the future stability of the video game market and we’re excited to see the new games coming out this year and beyond!


01-06-90-Prosperous 1989 Sales Press Release


01-06-90-Nintendo and Industry


01-06-90-Nintendo Stats Press Release


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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