Nintendo releasing new handheld game device, cheaper Wii U for holidays

People ride an escalator past Nintendo Co advertisements at an electronics retail store in Tokyo April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
People ride an escalator past Nintendo Co advertisements at an electronics retail store in Tokyo April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Japanese game maker Nintendo Co will launch a new and inexpensive handheld gaming device and offer a $50 price cut for its 32GB Wii U console in North America and Europe this holiday season in a bid to reverse weak sales and woo gamers back to its offerings.

Dubbed the “2DS” and priced at $129.99, the new addition to Nintendo’s 3DS range will go on sale on October 12 and play 3DS and DS games with 2D graphics, as its name suggests.

Known for games with much-loved characters like “Mario” and “Zelda,” Nintendo has been facing stiff competition from inexpensive or free mobile games on tablets and smartphones. This reflects an industry-wide trend where mobile games are eating into the market share of consoles and handheld devices.

With the “2DS,” Nintendo hopes to attract new entrants in the handheld space who have not been able to afford variants of its 3DS systems, priced at $169.99 and $199.99, Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America said in an interview.

Some industry analysts have criticized Nintendo for not taking advantage of the rapid growth of games on iOS and Android mobile devices by keeping its game franchises limited to its own systems. Nintendo executives have said they believe that letting its other popular game characters like “Mario” roam on mobile devices would impair the company’s hardware business in the long term.

By introducing the “2DS,” Nintendo is going after “not just consumers who have necessarily a phone or tablet,” and want a taste of Nintendo’s game fare, “but all consumers, especially younger consumers,” File-Aime said.

The “2DS “release will coincide with the launch of Nintendo’s kids role-playing game “Pokemon X and Y.”

Nintendo’s prospects have dimmed since the launch of the Wii U console last November. After posting tepid sales -3.6 million Wii U units sold since launch to June 30 compared to 9.3 million units of its successor, the Wii – the game maker aims to sell 9 million consoles by next March by offering new games and reducing its price.

To boost Wii U sales, the company will sell its 32GB deluxe version for $299.99, down from $349.99 starting September 20, Fils-Aime said.

The eight month-old Wii U will face fierce competition from Sony Corp’s PlayStation 4, priced at $399, and Microsoft Corp’s Xbox One, priced at $499, which will hit store shelves in November. Both next-generation systems will come with cloud gaming technology that lets players stream games from remote servers and carry a host of exclusive games.

The company has also timed the release of games like “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD” and “Super Mario 3D World” to reinforce its Wii U console, Fils-Aime said. Third-party titles include “Call Of Duty: Ghosts” by Activision Blizzard and “Assassin’s Creed IV:Black Flag” by Ubisoft that will be released this holiday season.

“It’s going to be these launches that are going to drive the (Wii U) business forward and we’re certainly going to do a lot of marketing activity behind the price decline,” Fils-Aime said.

Analysts say the three-decade-old Nintendo has an uphill climb as competitors like up-and-coming GungHo Online Entertainment post millions in sales per day with just one mobile title called “Puzzles & Dragons.”

“One of our benefits is that our products tend to sell well over time versus this spike up and go away type of sales curve that other companies may have,” Fils-Aime said.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

National

LAPD investigates complaint from detained 'Django' actress

The LAPD is investigating after "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts accused police of violating her rights when they detained her.

Local

Number of New York City smokers increase, topping…

For the first time since 2007, there are  more than one million smokers in New York City, according to the New York City Department of…

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll is still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

Movies

If you don't like Simon Pegg's new film,…

Simon Pegg goes all out in "Hector and the Search for Happiness" as the titular psychiatrist stymied by modern life who embarks on a globetrotting…

Arts

Art in Chelsea: Don't miss these 3 galleries

We selected three sure bets for seeing cool art in the galleries of Chelsea.

Music

Robin Thicke blurs lines further with new 'Blurred…

"The reality is," said Robin Thicke about "Blurred Lines" in a court deposition, "Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song."

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Travel

World's most hipster cities: Top 5

Travel blogger Adam Groffman tells us his picks for the Top 5 most hipster cities in the world.

Education

The top 5 regrets recent high school grads…

College application season can seem like a blur for many students - as test prep, campus visits and filling out a seemingly endless stream of…

Parenting

Tech execs tend to limit their kids' screen…

You probably got your iPad before Bill Gates's kids did.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing: Daybreaker returns, Ray Rice jersey trade, Sweet…

  Now that Ray Rice is no longer with the Baltimore Ravens — or any other NFL team — after video footage surfaced showing him…