Nintendo Forecasts Fewer Games Console Sales

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Games company Nintendo has cut sales forecasts for its flagship Wii U, 3DS and DS consoles.

Its full-year sales forecast for the financial year to March 2013 is four million for the Wii U console, down from a previous estimate of five and a half million.

The Wii U, the firm's latest big product, went on worldwide sale in November (Xetra: A0Z24E - news) and December last year with the hope of boosting Nintendo's fortunes.

Sales predictions for the 3DS hand-held console and the older Nintendo DS have also been revised - from 17.5 million to 15 million, and 2.5 million to 2.3 million.

However, there was some positive news for the Japanese firm.

After reporting its first ever annual loss of 43.2bn yen (£329m) in April (Paris: FR0004037125 - news) 2012, the company is now back in the black, with profits of 14.55bn yen (£102m) for April to December last year.

Despite the lower sales expectations, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has previously denied that smartphones are a threat to his business.

But casual gamers are increasingly being drawn to low-cost titles they can play on the move, or for free on the internet.

Titles such as Temple Run, Angry Birds and Farmville now attract millions of users on mobile devices and through sites like Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) .

Overall game console sales also fell by a third in the UK in 2012, according to the latest industry figures.

Nintendo says it is hoping to boost the popularity of its 3DS and Wii U consoles by bringing out a string of 'fan-favourite' titles over the next year.

Games in the Super Mario, Legend of Zelda and Wii Fit series are all due for release.

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