Nintendo cuts full-year forecast by 70 percent

The game console maker has slashed its profit expectations for the year to US$75 million from US$250 million, blaming weak demand and a strong yen.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

Japanese game console maker Nintendo has slashed its full-year profit forecast by 70 percent, blaming a weaker demand for its 3DS handheld player and a stronger yen.

In a statement Wednesday, the company said it expected net profit of just six billion yen (US$75 million), less than half its previous estimate of 20 billion yen (US$250 million). The cut was more drastic than the market estimates of 10.6 billion yen (US$132 million) according to a Bloomberg poll of 21 analysts.

Nintendo added it would continue to focus on selling its 3DS device during the second half of the fiscal year ending March 2013, and will expand its business by launching the Wii U system--the successor of its hit game console Wii for the year-end holiday season.

The company reported it had narrowed its net loss for the first half ended September to 28 billion yen (US$350 million) from 70.3 billion yen (US$881 million) a year earlier, in an earnings announcement the same day.

Slower sales expected
It is bracing itself for slower sales, lowering its full-year forecast for the 3DS by a million, to 17.5 million units. Weak demand for the device, launched in February last year, had forced Nintendo to slash the price of the new gadget by about one-third a year ago, noted Reuters.

The new Wii U is scheduled to go on sale in the United States on Nov. 18. It will be its first hardware product in six years, and will boast a tablet-like touchscreen controller and a social network. In the statement, Nintendo forecast it would sell 5.5 million Wii U units by March next year.

Nintendo has been slowly losing ground to its rivals such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's Playstation, and other game devices. The company is banking on its new console to turn around its fortunes after posting its first annual operating loss in three decades last year.

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