Nintendo posts 52% decline in profit amid weak Wii sales

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Nintendo posted a major 52% slip in fiscal first-half (April-September) profit today, amid a slowing demand for its Wii video game console. Profit for that period totaled $69.49 billion yen (about $772 million), which is down from 144.83 billion yen in the year prior and less than Nintendo's forecasted $100 billion yen ($1.1 billion). Fiscal first-half sales plummeted 34.5% to 548.01 billion yen ($6.1 billion).

The company expects earnings to remain grim, lowering its sales forecast for the fiscal year through March 2010 to 1.5 trillion yen ($16.7 billion) from 1.8 trillion yen ($20 billion). Nintendo blames its weak outlook on the recent Wii price cut, a lack of blockbuster games, as well as a strong yen, which hurts Japanese exporters by reducing their overseas earnings.

Nintendo has faced some stiff competition lately, with Sony and Microsoft both lowering prices on their consoles. The PlayStation 3 topped September sales charts after Sony introduced the $300 120GB Slim model, and the 120GB Xbox 360 Elite was cut to $300 as well. Microsoft also has a $200 Xbox 360 Arcade unit, which is about the same cost of Nintendo's Wii.

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