REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 18, 1995--In less than one month on the market, Nintendo's new Virtual Boy 3-D home video game system is already sold out at many retail locations, and 40,000 people a day across the country are clamoring to test the system in a joint rental promotional program with Blockbuster Video and NBC.
More than 100,000 units of the world's first true three-dimensional home game system were shipped within a week of its August 21 national launch. Many retail locations have already exhausted their allotments. "It's a huge hit," says Pete Roithmayr, merchandise director of speciality retailer Electronics Boutique. "We're ecstatic."
Blockbuster Video and Nintendo expect that more than 1 million people will test the system in the first four weeks of its promotion, which allows consumers either to rent Virtual Boy and a choice of two games for three evenings for $9.99; or to immediately test the system on site with specially designed interactive units at 3,000 Blockbuster locations nationwide. Those renting the unit receive a coupon for $10 off Virtual Boy's MSRP of $179.95(a) redeemable at any Nintendo authorized dealer.
According to Ted Innes, vice president, marketing, at Blockbuster: "This is the most successful partner program in the game area we've ever done. People are really excited about Virtual Boy."
"We knew we had an outstanding product, but faced a real hurdle in showing it to people," says Mark Westcott, Nintendo consumer and trade promotions manager. "But because of the true 3-D images, we couldn't demonstrate the visuals to our players if we relied solely on traditional two-dimensional print or television advertising. By tying Virtual Boy in one promotion with both the national retail presence of Blockbuster, and the hip prime-time programming of NBC, we've found a way to generate excitement and wide sampling behind this truly unique video game system."
Virtual Boy is a RISC-based, 32-bit system using two high-resolution, mirror-scanning LED (light emitting diode) displays to produce a 3-D experience immersing players into their own private universe of high-resolution red images against a deep, black background. The 3-D effect is enhanced with stereophonic sound and a new double grip controller that accommodates multi-dimensional spatial movement.
Nintendo Co. Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, is the leader in the worldwide $15 billion retail video game industry. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere, where more than 40 percent of homes own a Nintendo system.
For more information on Virtual Boy or other Nintendo products, log on to Nintendo's World Wide Web site on the Internet (HTTP://WWW.NINTENDO.COM) or Nintendo Power Source on America Online (Keyword: Nintendo). -0-
(a): Although Nintendo of America Inc. may suggest retail prices for products, the dealer is free to determine on its own the prices at which it will sell products.
Don Varyu, 206/462-4220
Alison Holt, 213/623-4200