LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Video-game giant Nintendo of America said Friday that it had racked up $4.29 billion in sales last year, or 80 percent of the $5.3 billion market, despite growth from rival Sega of America.
Nintendo, in an announcement at the winter Consumer Electronics Show, said that sales for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy portable system and the 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System were 13.3 million units. Sales of games totaled 76 million units.
Nintendo said its revenues, which include licensing fees for the games, were a 22 percent increase over 1991.
'What these numbers indicate is resounding support for the fact that the video game business is cartridge-based, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future,' said Peter Main, Nintendo vice president of marketing.
Main said the seven-year-old 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System represented more than 20 times the market of compact-disc-based games last year.
But Sega has been highly successful in the more advanced 16-bit market and is well ahead of Nintendo in CD games.
CD games have huge potential since the discs, called CD-ROM, can store vast amounts of graphics, text and audio information. Sega released a well-received CD-based video system last year, while Nintendo's CD-system is not expected out until next year.
Nintendo said it sold 2.7 million of the 8-bit systems in 1992 and 28 million games for the system, leading to revenues of $1.23 billion. The portable Game Boy represented 82 percent of the handheld market, with revenues of $935 million based on sales of 4 million hardware systems, and 25 million games.
Nintendo, the American arm of Nintendo Co. Ltd. of Japan, said 16-bit hardware sales 6.6 million units and 23 million game packs, producing retail sales of $2.13 billion. It said it expects to sell 8 million to 8.5 million 16-bit hardware units in the fiscal year ending March 31, 1994.
Nintendo also said it has added a special graphics chip, dubbed the Super FX, to give additional pep to the capabilities of the standard cartridge, and will release four games this year based on the new product. The first, outer space adventure 'StarFox,' will be released in March at a suggested retail price of $59.95.
Nintendo also said it will release its 'Zelda' for Game Boy systems in June, with the title 'The Legend of Zelda -- Link's Awakening.' It will also release a new puzzle game, 'Yoshi's Cookie,' in April and 'Kirby's Adventure' in May for the 8-bit systems.