Nintendo profits hit by weak 3DS console sales

3DS handheld game player
Image caption The 3DS, a cross between a handheld and a tablet device, has not been a smash hit

Japanese gaming giant Nintendo has reported a surprise loss, hit by weak sales of its new 3DS handheld game player.

The company reported a net loss of 25.5bn yen ($324m, £201m) for the April-to-June quarter, compared with a loss of 25.2bn yen last year.

For the year to March 2012, Nintendo now expects a net profit of 20bn yen, down 82% from its previous forecast.

It has cut the price of the 3DS console sharply in Japan and the US.

The price in Japan will be about 40% less - retailing at 15,000 yen. In the US, the price will drop next month to $169.99 from $249.99.

"For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now," Nintendo's US president Reggie Fils-Aime said.

Analysts said Nintendo lacked hit games titles to fuel sales of its consoles.

Nintendo's total sales during the quarter fell by more than 50% to 93.93bn yen.

About 80% of Nintendo's sales are from outside of Japan, meaning it has been hit severely by a strong yen.

The company's shares in Tokyo have fallen by more than 40% this year.

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