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Monday, March 26 12:00 AM ET

Sony to Bundle Wii System with PS3 to Increase Sales

By Brian Briggs

Tokyo – President of Sony North America Frank Newmark announced today that Sony would begin bundling a Nintendo Wii console with every PlayStation 3 system sold. 

Recent sales figures have shown the Wii with more sales than the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 combined.

Newmark hopes the new strategy will boost disappointing sales of the company's gaming system by pairing it with the hot-selling Wii.  Newmark said, "By focusing on giving the customer what they want, the sales of the PS3 will improve dramatically."

Newmark confirmed that part of the strategy includes shifting manufacturing at one of Sony's plants from PS3s to Wii systems to meet the expected demand.  "I know it sounds unorthodox to manufacture a competitor's product, but if you do the math you'll see that it will help us increase market share," he said.

Many consumers were excited by the news.  Thad Dorman of Oklahoma City said, "I've been trying to get my hands on a Wii since it came out.  Now if I buy one direct from Sony I get a PS3 in the bundle for less than I could've bought a Wii for by itself."

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When asked what he would do with two consoles Dorman answered, "I'll play the Wii and probably use the PS3 as a doorstop or something."

A representative for Nintendo confirmed the Sony plan and said that everyone at headquarters thought "the whole thing was pretty weird."

The PS3-Wii bundle will not increase the price of the PlayStation 3 system and will be available the beginning of April. Sony shares traded up on the Nikkei after the announcement.

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