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Video game ICs revenue to grow further

Posted: 26 Aug 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:video game  Nintendo DS  portable game unit  video game industry 

Japanese video game giant Nintendo has witnessed some truly remarkable sales for its game hardware over the past few years. Total shipments for the Wii hit 1.86 crore (18.6 million) units for the fiscal year ending March 2008. In the latest quarter, more than 50 lakh (5 million) units were shipped. However, Nintendo's greater success story is the sales recorded through its portable game unit, the Nintendo DS. With over 7.7 crore (77 million) units sold worldwide since its introduction in 2004, the Nintendo DS has easily become the most popular handheld video game platform of all time. Despite Sony PSP's telecommunications ability, capacity to play special DVD movies and upcoming GPS function, the DS has continued to outsell the Sony hardware more than two to one.

The gaming phenomenon has driven innovation that now extends beyond the console itself to companion electronics, such as handhelds, wireless nunchucks, controllers and wireless guitars. Along with consoles, peripherals, handhelds and displays such as LCD TVs, the bill of materials value is growing, providing more opportunity for the merchant semiconductor suppliers. While much of the circuitry is still proprietary, significant design wins from the merchant market are proof that the OEMs are opening up more to outside sources for chip technology.

Databeans Inc. estimates that the served available market for semiconductors in the video game industry will grow from Rs.32,143.85 crore ($7.5 billion) this year to over Rs.51,430.15 crore ($12 billion) by 2013. Major product categories include ARM-based processors, flash memory, battery management and wireless transceivers (analogue). Motion sensors and touch screen controllers are also growing significantly in all segments for video games. All together, the video game market provides ample opportunity for suppliers, at whichever level they choose to play at– "Easy, Medium, or Expert".

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