Nintendo 3DS delay casts gloom over games giant

Nintendo's struggle to bring its hotly anticipated 3D-capable player to the market has sparked concerns over the outlook for the company, with sales of its existing products sliding in key US and European markets.

Nintendo shares fell more than 9 per cent on Thursday after the video game maker slashed its profit forecast for the year and said its new 3D-capable handheld player would miss the crucial year-end shopping season.



"We had been expecting a November launch for Japan, so the news was a disappointment," said Singapore-based analyst Atul Goyal of CLSA. "With a delayed product launch, the stock should be in a twilight zone, where it may not do much for the next five-to-six months."



Many analysts had factored in a 2011 launch for the United States, but were taken aback by the late Japan sales date, set for late February.



Nintendo blamed the strong yen and lack of hit software for its existing handheld DS and Wii home game consoles, as well as the late launch of the new product, for a downward revision to its profit forecasts.



The new Nintendo 3DS, boasting a display that can be used without special glasses, set gamers abuzz at the E3 gameshow earlier in the year and was seen as key to reviving the company's sagging sales.



Nintendo shares were down 9.3 per cent at 20,870 yen at 1:03 a.m. ET, heading for their biggest one-day drop in nearly 20 months. Volume spiked to 2.7 million shares, already 4 times the daily average over the past three months.



The stock fell as low as 20,770 yen, a level last seen in December 2009.



The launch delay will put the pre-holiday spotlight on rivals Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp, whose new motion-controlled gaming accessories will be in stores in time for the peak shopping season in all major markets.



Based on Thomson Reuters StarMine's Analysts Revision Model, a measure of change in analyst sentiment, Nintendo ranks in the bottom percentile, placing it below Sony and Microsoft.





Nintendo will not launch the new version of its DS until 26 February in Japan and March in the United States, by far the biggest market for the game machine maker.



Nintendo President Satoru Iwata blamed the delay on inability to meet anticipated demand within the year.



"They are struggling with product transitions," said Jay Defibaugh, a game sector analyst at MF Global in Tokyo.



"Those are struggles that will be ongoing for the next couple years for their Wii and 3DS, and I think that raises red flags among investors for the company's fundamentals over the medium term."

At 25,000 yen ($299), the new model is also priced substantially higher than existing DS models, raising some doubts about likely sales volumes.



Nintendo's Thursday stock tumble was an extension of a 3.7-percent fall on Wednesday in a late-day sell-off triggered by the announcement of the product delay in the last few minutes of trade.



Shares in Mitsumi Electric, a maker of parts for Nintendo games, also fell 6.1 percent to 1,295 yen on Thursday.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Investigo: Finance Business Partner

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Engineer with SQL skills

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

    £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm - London

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    Day In a Page

    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea