Nintendo posts first-half loss

The woes are piling up at Nintendo as it sank into its first loss for seven years during the last quarter on slowing sales, the strong yen and an increasingly competitive gaming market.

The disappointing statement comes just weeks after the gaming giant cut full-year profit forecasts from ¥200bn (£1.5bn) to ¥90bn, the lowest level in six years.

The predictions were revised after the company announced its groundbreaking 3D handheld console, the Nintendo 3DS, would not be ready in time for Christmas.

The Japanese group said yesterday that had fallen to a net loss of ¥2bn between April and September, worse than analysts had predicted and down from ¥69.5bn a year earlier.

It blamed a weaker demand for its phenomenally successful console, the Wii, for the drag on sales, which were down a third to ¥363.1bn. The 3DS, which offers 3D viewing without specialist glasses, was expected to arrive in time for the holiday season.

In September, the group admitted the device was not ready and it is likely to be launched in Japan at the end of February.

"It is clear that if we launch within the year, we will not be able to supply enough units," Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's president, said.

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