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Friday, October 28, 2011
Nintendo Wii U Coming Next Spring

Nintendo said Friday its new Wii U game console will go on sale during the next fiscal year that begins in April.

"Based on the bitter experiences we have had with the Nintendo 3DS, we are making every effort to prepare so that the Wii U will not stumble during its launch," said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, speaking about Nintendo's results for its first half that ended in September.

Iwata said the final version of the console will be on display at the E3 conference which is set for June in Los Angeles.

The Wii U includes a set-up box similar to the current Wii as well as a tablet-like gamepad that is linked wirelessly and has dual thumb-controlled joysticks and control buttons. The tablet can be used together with the main box to play games shown on a TV, or independently on its own smaller screen.

Nintendo also slashed its outlook for the fiscal year through March and now expects a ¥20 billion (US$263 million) net loss, after saying just three months ago it could make an annual ¥20 billion profit.

"The main reasons were, in addition to the growth of hardware sales ratio out of the total net sales, a decrease in the hardware profitability ratio because of the effect of the price reductions for "Wii" and "Nintendo 3DS" hardware, and the impact of absorbing the inventory markdown taken into account in connection with the price reductions," Iwata said.

"Operating losses arose from a sizable drop of gross profits along with a decrease in sales and the gross profit ratio, and a smaller reduction of the total of selling, general and administrative expenses including fixed expenses than that of gross profit," he added.

Iwata expects a strong holiday season based on the large number of games for the handheld that are due over the coming months.

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