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Nintendo Plans to Offer Stock Trading in Homes

Times Staff Writer

Fidelity Investments and video game maker Nintendo of America have announced plans to jointly develop an at-home electronic stock trading service using the popular video game system.

The new service, expected to become available by mid-1990, is modeled after a home shopping and information service offered by Nintendo’s parent company in Japan.

The service is based on the premise that the Nintendo game player, which packs the power of the earliest personal computers yet costs only about $80, can be used effectively as a home computer when it is attached to another powerful appliance: the telephone.

Although the stock trading service is the first one to use a video game player, it is hardly the first at-home shopping and information service. The at-home market has been tested, with often disastrous results, by a variety of publishing companies, most of which have abandoned it. The latest venture, Prodigy, was launched last year by a partnership of Sears, Roebuck & Co. and International Business Machines, but acceptance has been slow and the operation is relying heavily on the deep financial resources of its backers.

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The Fidelty-Nintendo venture will give the estimated 20 million U.S. households with Nintendo game systems access to a wide range of Fidelity’s on-line financial services, including personal portfolio management and stock and mutual funds trading. Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund operator in the United States, currently manages more than $100 billion for its mutual fund and brokerage customers.


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