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Nintendo to Sell New Wii U Console in Japan Beginning in December

Nintendo Co., the world’s biggest video-game machine maker, will sell its new Wii U console in Japan beginning in December for at least 26,250 yen ($338) as the company tries to recover from its first annual loss.

Nintendo also will sell a premium version for 31,500 yen starting Dec. 8, President Satoru Iwata said in a webcast today. The Kyoto, Japan-based company will offer games including “New Super Mario Bros. U” and “Nintendo Land,” Iwata said.

The console maker counts on the Wii U, the first new home- gaming machine by a major maker since 2006, to propel a recovery after sales of the 3DS handheld player missed projections because of a lack of popular software titles. Nintendo faces growing competition from games played online and on smartphones from companies including Apple Inc., which will begin selling the iPhone 5 next week.

“It sounds inexpensive to me, and probably it’s the price that consumers can afford,” said Takashi Oka, a Tokyo-based analyst at TIW Inc. “It may prompt existing owners to replace their Wii with the new one.”

The stock may rise on the announcement, he said. The basic set will have a white-colored console and eight gigabytes of storage, Nintendo said. The premium set will come with a black- colored console with 32 gigabytes of storage, the company said. Both will include a GamePad touch-screen controller.

The Wii U features a 6.2-inch screen controller, which will provide extra information to players as they manipulate games on their TVs. It can also become the primary screen when they move around. The machine includes new social-networking features, allowing players to interact with each other.

“The price is probably set just above production costs so the company won’t lose money,” said Tomoaki Kawasaki, a Tokyo- based analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities. “I’m paying close attention to whether there will be innovative software.”

Nintendo will hold an event today in New York to unveil plans for the Wii U in the U.S….

Read more: Bloomberg BusinessWeek


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