As Wii Sales Growth, Nintendo Become Takeover Target

Stocks: (MSFT)(AAPL)(SNE)

The Nintendo Wii Gaming system may have a better holiday season that Microsoft Box or Sony Playstation 3 Based on an analysis published by, Microsoft has never made money on sales of Xbox hardware and Sony is projected to lose $300 per system, at least for the time being. The Nintendo Wii has fewer features, but that may allow it to make money on each unit.

Nintendo’s stock has doubled in the last year.

According to MarketWatch, Nintendo now has a market cap of $32 billion. Micosoft’s is $293 billion. Sony’s is $39 billion. Apple’s is $78 billion.

Nintendo’s market value may be beyond what Sony could pay, although it could use Wii’s success and position in the market as a game product for younger player more than Microsoft or Apple could. But, Micosoft could clearler use the Wii as a way to jump ahead of Sony by offering Xbox as a high-end system and Wii as a less expensive alternative. Microsoft could also afford to upgrade Wii’s feature set over time.

But, perhaps the most interesting potential suitor for Wii is Apple. It already has the iPod and computer legs to its business but lacks a consumer game platform. If it could make the Wii as cool as the iPod, Apple might actually come to rule the consumer electronics world.

iPod sales must slow. The penetration is getting high as the device passe 70 million units in sales. Macs may do better, but their share is still only around 6%.

But, the Wii could rule in the hands of someone like Steve Jobs.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at [email protected]. He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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