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Nintendo confirms 3DS launch date and price

by Sarah Griffiths on 29 September 2010, 16:56

Tags: Nintendo (TYO:7974)

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Nintendo has revealed the launch date and price of its eagerly anticipated 3DS but has cut its profit outlook by half for this fiscal year due to the three dimensional console's release schedule and currency concerns.

The Japanese gaming giant would appear to be the latest casualty of the yen, which is getting stronger all the time and will also miss the traditional boom in sales before Christmas as its handheld console will launch in 2011, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The 3DS, which will let users play 3D games minus the glasses, will launch on 26 February in Japan, while Europe and the US will get their hands on it in March.

Nintendo had previously said the console would be ready by April so technically the release is on schedule, although some of its forecasts had hinted that the 3DS would be on sale sooner.

However, the timing has baffled a few analysts who predicted Nintendo would push its new console into shops in time for the Christmas rush, especially as demand for its DS and Wii has waned, in part due to Microsoft and Sony muscling in on the motion-sensitive space with their Kinect and Move offerings.

Nintendo slashed its fiscal full year profit forecast by over half, partly because the yen has hit Japan's export-driven economy hard as well as current slaes performance and Christmas sales outlook. The company reportedly now expects its end-of-year profits to be around 90m yen, compared to the 200m yen it originally forecast.

Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata reportedly admitted he had planned on the 3DS making its debut in time for the festive season but could not do so because of supply issues.

Analysts are apparently united in their belief that the 3DS is of crucial importance to the gaming giant as people are gradually tiring of playing on consoles. Nintendo reportedly said it plans on shifting 4m 3DS' and 15m games for the console by the close of this fiscal year.

The company also revealed a 3DS will set a customer back around 25,000 yen, which equates to about $298 but the prices are yet to be set for the US and Europe.

Nintendo's 3DS will boast dual screens like its once popular DS including a 3.5 inch 3D screen which can be switched off and adjusted to support older games.