Nintendo gets a dose of reality

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smb2_supermarioThe bigger they are, the harder they fall.

That’s what Nintendo’s learning right now, as the Japanese game company faces a quarterly profit plunge of 61 percent. Sales of the Wii console — once so popular the company couldn’t keep them on store shelves — have dropped for the first time since it launched three years ago. And the company’s handheld systems, the DS and the upgraded DSi, now face once-unheard-of competition from devices like Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch.

Part of the problem is the Wii was marketed to “casual” gamers — not the hardcore video game crowd. And Nintendo thinks those light users have become bored.

“Nintendo needs to keep their attention with new software, but that hasn’t happened,” said Satoru Kikuchi, an analyst at Deutsche Securities in Japan in an Associated Press report.

The bright side? The company is still making a profit, which is more than can be said for other gaming manufacturers right now.


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