Nintendo announces new platform codenamed NX amid quarterly loss due to weak sales

Japanese video-game maker Nintendo Co. reported a 24 billion yen ($216 million US) loss for January-March Wednesday, bigger than the loss it reported the previous year.

Nintendo also said Wednesday that its new game platform codenamed NX will be launched globally in March next year.

Some game fans had expected the machine might be shown at the annual E3 electronics show in Los Angeles in June. The company said it would preview a new Legend of Zelda title at E3, but would launch the game on Wii U and NX in 2017.

Quarterly sales fell 26 percent on-year to 78.8 billion yen ($708 million US) as overseas revenues were hurt by a stronger yen. Nintendo racked up a nearly 18 billion yen quarterly loss the previous year.

The Kyoto-based company behind Pokemon and Super Mario games said Wednesday it expects to recover to a 35 billion yen ($314 million US) profit for the fiscal year ending in March 2017.

For the fiscal year just ended, it earned 16.5 billion yen ($148 million US), down 61 per cent from the previous fiscal year.

Lagging sales

Recent sales of Nintendo's Wii U machine have lagged rivals Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 4 console and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One, including the key year-end holiday shopping season.

After years of scoffing at the threat from smartphones, Nintendo did an about face last year and entered an alliance with Japanese mobile game company DeNA Co. to develop games for mobile devices.

It said its first app for smartphones called Miitomo has done well since its release in March. The app features customizable avatars called Miis, created using a smartphone camera and then outfitted with virtual fashions.

The momentum of Nintendo's 3DS hand-held game machine has dwindled amid competition from other mobile devices and a lack of hit game software for the 3DS.

Nintendo said it will release a major Pokemon software game for the 3DS called Pokemon Sun/Pokemon Moon globally ahead of the holidays later this year.

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