Nintendo Co. (7974), the world’s largest maker of video-game machines, will introduce a bigger version of its 3DS handheld player next month in Japan to help revive profit after posting its first annual loss.
The 3DS LL will go on sale in the domestic market on July 28 for 18,900 yen ($235), the Kyoto, Japan-based company said in a statement today. The current model is priced at 15,000 yen. Nintendo will start to sell the machine in the U.S. from Aug. 19 where it will cost $199.99 and be called the 3DS XL, spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa said by phone.
The creator of “Super Mario” predicts a 37 percent jump in sales of the 3DS, together with the introduction of its new Wii U console, will help drive a return to profit this fiscal year. Nintendo posted a 43.2 billion yen loss in the year ended March, turning unprofitable for the first time since it listed in 1962.
“The player will lure customers as some opt for a larger display,” said Takashi Oka, a Tokyo-based analyst at TIW Inc. Still, “the machine’s impact won’t be big enough to create a whole new market.”
Nintendo rose 1.3 percent to 9,550 yen at the close on the Osaka Securities Exchange.
The 3DS LL’s upper screen that can display 3-D images will be enlarged to 4.88 inches, compared with the existing model’s 3.53 inches, Nintendo said. The handheld player will debut on July 28 in Europe without the company setting a suggested retail price, Minagawa said.
Nintendo will introduce “New Super Mario Bros. 2” and a new version of its brain training game “Brain Age” along with the 3DS LL, it said. The company has sold about 6.3 million 3DS units in Japan since its debut in February 2011, according to the statement.
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