Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) is preparing for an exciting weekend. The gaming giant probably feels like jumping for joy.
That's because this Sunday will see the release of two brand-new Pokemon titles for the extremely popular Nintendo DS handheld device. Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl will be picked up by a vast legion of fans on April 22, and Nintendo has a pretty good idea that they are going to be incredible hits: more than 530,000 reservations were taken for the games, according to news reports earlier this week. This statistic blows away the number of preorders processed for the previous Pokemon releases in 2004 by more than 100%.
Overall, Pokemon FireRed and Pokemon LeafGreen ended up moving 3.4 million cartridges for the Game Boy Advance platform. One would assume that the better tracking numbers so far for Diamond and Pearl are indicative of even better sales potential.
I am amazed that the Pokemon video game phenomenon has lasted as long as it has. Nintendo should be commended for keeping interest in the software not only alive, but thriving. Nintendo's platforms are selling like hotcakes right now, much to the chagrin of competitors Microsoft
The catalytic effect of this weekend should not be underestimated. Pokemon fever should drive sales of the Nintendo DS for the rest of the year, which in turn could help keep momentum for the Wii at a high throttle. Another business that should benefit would be GameStop
Nintendo's shares have risen quite a bit over the last year, but I still see more upside ahead. The new Pokemon cycle will put DS units in a lot more hands, and it should ensure a robust holiday selling season later in the year for the company's brand of products. I know, it might be a bit early to be thinking about Christmas, but believe me, Nintendo is thinking about it right now.
Will the Wii continue to win? A lot of that might depend on Sony and whether it decides to cut the price on its PlayStation 3 system. I doubt, however, if Sony can cut the price down far enough to take the wind out of the Wii's sails.
Like catching Pokemon? Then you'll love snagging these Takes:
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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned. As of this writing, he was ranked 13,952 out of 27,270 investors in the Motley Fool CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.