Nintendo hit by poor sales of DS console

City A.M. Reporter
NINTENDO reported a 46 per cent fall in quarterly profit, as sales of its ageing DS handheld device tumbled ahead of the launch of a new, 3D-capable model next month.

The news came the same day Sony unveiled a rival portable gaming device set to hit the market around the end of the year. Both firms need a new hit product to help them compete against Apple’s iPhone and the growing ranks of rival smartphones.

Nintendo, based in Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto, has also been battling harsh competition from Sony and Microsoft in the home game console market, after both companies launched motion-control accessories last year.

Underscoring the tough competition, Nintendo cut its sales forecast for the Wii console to 16m units from 17.5m units for the year to March. It also lowered its DS sales forecast to 22.5m units from 23.5m.

October to December operating profit at Nintendo, which competes with Sony and Microsoft was 104.6bn yen (£789m), compared with 192.3bn yen a year ago and versus an analysts’ consensus of 118bn yen.

For the year to March, Nintendo left its operating profit forecast at 210bn yen, down from 356.6bn yen the previous year and compared with an analyst consensus of 203.5bn yen.

The company revised down its annual profit forecast by a third last September, blaming the strong yen and the fact that it did not have the much-anticipated 3DS ready for the year-end festive shopping season.

Nintendo shares ended 0.9 per cent higher ahead of the results announcement. Over the past year, Nintendo shares have lost 12.5 per cent, compared with a 0.7 per cent rise in the Nikkei average.