Nintendo quarterly profit down 52%

Wii drops to second place beyond Playstation, forecast cut

TOKYO -- Nintendo Co. Ltd. reported a 52% slide in quarterly profit on Thursday, hurt by slowing demand for its flagship Wii video game console and the strong yen, and slashed its full-year forecast.

Demand for Nintendo products has cooled as rival Sony Corp. has bolstered its line-up of console games, and as Apple Inc.'s iPhone has become a popular platform for handheld games.

Nintendo's earnings, like those of other Japanese exporters, have been blunted by the stronger yen, which eats into overseas profits.

Nintendo, which also faces stiff competition in the video game market from Microsoft Corp., posted an operating profit of 64 billion yen ($709 million) in the July-September quarter, compared with 133 billion yen a year earlier.

Nintendo cut its operating profit forecast for the year to March 2010 by a quarter to 370 billion yen, ending a three-year run during which it booked a record profit on booming demand for its Wii console and DS portable device.

In September, Sony's Playstation 3 usurped Nintendo's Wii to become the top-selling U.S. video game console for the first time since its release, according to research group NPD.

Shares of Nintendo finished down 1.1% ahead of the results. The stock has declined about 28% so far this year, compared with a 14% rise in the Nikkei 225.
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