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Nintendo cuts price of Wii U video game console

business Updated: Aug 30, 2013 10:59 IST

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Nintendo on Wednesday cut the price of its Wii U video game console and introduced an entry-level version of its DS handheld gaming device in moves aimed at boosting sales.

Nintendo also announced an array of new titles as it tried to breathe life into moribund sales of its latest generation of hardware before rivals Sony and Microsoft hit the market with new offerings.

Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One are to make their global debuts in time for the coveted year-end holiday shopping season.

Nintendo said the price of its top-of-the-line Wii U Deluxe set will drop to $300 after a $50 price cut takes effect on September 20.

A Nintendo 2DS handheld device will be priced at $130 when it is released on October 12, the same day as a compatible pair of Pokemon games.

The Nintendo 2DS will handle play of Nintendo 3DS games, but in two dimension graphics instead of the three-dimension imagery on its more sophisticated predecessor, according to the Japanese video game titan.

"Nintendo has one of the strongest and most diverse video game lineups in our history," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime.

"We're making those unique Nintendo experiences more accessible and affordable."

Japan's Nintendo swung to a net profit of $88 million in the three months to June as a weakening yen helped inflate its overseas results.

The net profit of 8.6 billion yen reversed a loss of 17.2 billion yen a year earlier.

But demand for the new Wii U games console was tepid as Nintendo's overall sales slipped 3.8 percent year-on-year to 81.6 billion yen.

Nintendo, maker of the iconic Donkey Kong and Super Mario brands, has been locked in war with Sony and Microsoft, makers of the PlayStation and Xbox video game consoles, for dominance of a sector worth about $44 billion a year.

At the same time, the trio face tough economic conditions in their key US and European markets while also fending off a challenge from cheap -- or sometimes free -- downloadable games for smartphones and tablets.

Nintendo had hoped the Wii U -- the follow-up to its wildly popular predecessor -- would help breathe new life into its performance after its 3DS console saw disappointing demand.

The 3DS system was the world's first video game console with a 3D screen that works without special glasses. It entered the market about two years ago when players were shifting attention to games on smartphones.

Nintendo launched the Wii U console late last year amid a series of game development delays that contributed to tepid sales.

The company said it hopes that a pipeline of new games will lure more buyers for the system.