Nintendo cuts forecast announces new DS

Net income projected to be $1.1 bil, down from $2.4 bil

TOKYO -- Nintendo has slashed its full-year financial forecast due to the continuing strong yen and the delayed release of its new 3D handheld console, the 3DS, now due to hit the Japanese market on Feb. 26.

Sales in the financial year to March 31 2011 are now forecast to total 1.1 trillion yen ($13.1 billion), down from earlier predictions of 1.4 trillion yen, while net income is projected to be 90 billion yen ($1.1 billion), down from a previously forecasted 200 billion yen ($2.4 billion).

The 3DS -- which won't require special glasses to experience the 3D effect -- is the latest revamp of Nintendo's DS portable game machine, which has shifted over 130 million units globally. The 8oz console will include a camera capable of taking 3D photos, a motion sensor and high-speed WiFi.

The new portable console will be priced at 25,000 yen ($300) in Japan, though no prices have been set for overseas markets. Were Nintendo to convert that price directly to dollars at current rates, it would make the 3DS the same price in the U.S. as the 160GB PlayStation 3 and the 250GB Xbox, and 50% more expensive than its own Wii console.

The yen hit a two-week high of 83.65 against the greenback in Tokyo today, after the Japanese government spent $20 billion on Sept. 15 intervening to weaken the currency.

The 3DS is due to be on the shelves in the U.S. and Europe from March at the earliest. It was expected to be released in Japan as early as November but will now miss the all-important holiday season worldwide.