NINTENDO PUTS $50 MIL PUSH INTO NEW 64 PLAYER

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Nintendo of America is mapping the biggest product launch in its history, budgeting $50 million to market the long-awaited Nintendo 64 game player between late August and December, including $20 million in media advertising.

TEAMING WITH KELLOGG

Trying to regain leadership in the $6 billion videogame market with its hot but delayed new player, Nintendo will team up with Kellogg Co. on a cereal box sweepstakes and stage promotions with Viacom's Blockbuster Video and Nickelodeon cable TV network.

George Harrison, Nintendo VP-marketing and corporate communications, said the campaign from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, will be 95% TV.

Because of production constraints, Nintendo expects to ship only 500,000 of the $250 devices before Christmas, not enough to meet demand.

BUILDING MOMENTUM

But the heavy spending is meant to build momentum for the new product, which will be going up against the hot-selling Sony PlayStation and less successful Sega Saturn.

"In our industry," Mr. Harrison added, "a little product shortage is always a good thing-the Cabbage Patch phenomenon," referring to the doll that became a media darling when demand outstripped supply.

Nintendo hopes the new machine will vault it past Sega of America into industry leadership.

However, Nintendo expects two-thirds of revenues this year to come from old products or new versions of older devices; it will spend $40 million advertising these offerings.

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