Sept. 13 - Nintendo announces a raft of new games for its 3DS game console, hoping to prop up disappointing sales. Arnold Gay reports.
Japan's Nintendo announced a raft of new software for its 3DS game console Tuesday (September 13) in an attempt to prop up disappointing sales. But investors were not impressed, sending Nintendo's shares down over 5 percent amid a stronger broader market. Unveiling a range of games, including the company's much-loved Mario character and others aimed at attracting women, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata says the number of new titles will be unprecedented for the industry. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) NINTENDO PRESIDENT SATORU IWATA SAYING: "From the end of this year to the beginning of next, we are planning the kind of extensive line-up that has probably never been seen before in the history of video games." A much talked about add-on accessory was not seen though. Earlier reports and blogs had focused on an extra control button for the handheld. But video games magazine editor Yusaku Yamamoto says core and adult gamers were not forgotten this time. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) SHOOTING GAMESIDE MAGAZINE EDITOR YUSAKU YAMAMOTO SAYING: "In addition to community based games, there were also quite a few that focused on core gamers, such as Biohazard and Metal Gear. So even for adults, there are titles that I could see people playing on their way to work. There were quite a few that would make people want to put a 3DS in their business bag as well." Nintendo says it will spare no effort to make sure the 3DS becomes the successor to its best-selling DS. But that will not be easy - 148 million of the various older DS models have been sold. 3.6 million of the 3DS consoles were sold within the first month of its March launch, but sales have since slowed to just 710,000 units in the April to June quarter. This puts the company well short of its 16 million sales target for the year. Many casual gamers are also turning to Apple's iPhone and iPad and mobile gadgets based on Google's Android, which offer cheaper content and multiple functions. Critics add Nintendo has become too hardware-centred, and has fallen behind current trends, which centre on social gaming. Nintendo posted its first ever quarterly operating loss for the June quarter, and has slashed its full-year profit guidance by 80 percent. Arnold Gay, Reuters.