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Nintendo Falls on Concern Price Cut Won’t Suffice for 3DS to Meet Target

Nintendo Co., the world’s biggest maker of video-game consoles, fell the most in more than two weeks in Osaka trading on growing concern that price cuts won’t be enough for the company to meet its full-year sales target.

Nintendo slid 2.3 percent to 13,160 yen, the biggest drop since Aug. 24, at the 3:10 p.m. close in Osaka. The shares have tumbled 45 percent this year.

Five months into the fiscal year, the company has sold fewer than a fifth of the 16 million 3DS handheld game players it’s targeting to sell by the year ending March 31, according to estimates at research firms. Nintendo in July slashed 3DS prices by as much as 40 percent after initial sales fell short of the game maker’s expectations.

“Nintendo must adjust its expectations in a world increasingly dominated by smartphones and tablets,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Los Angeles-based Wedbush Securities Inc. “Nintendo will have two-thirds as much success in handhelds and consoles as in the past.”

The company sold about 235,000 units of the 3DS in the U.S. in August, Nintendo said in a statement on its website yesterday. About 185,000 units were sold after the price was cut to $169.99 on Aug. 12, almost four times more than in the same period in July, the Kyoto, Japan-based company said, citing data from NPD Group.

Sales of the 3DS in Japan totaled about 55,000 units in the seven days ended Sept. 4, according to the Enterbrain data. The figure is 74 percent fewer than sales made in the second week of August when Nintendo cut the price.

President Satoru Iwata, who in July slashed Nintendo’s full-year profit forecast 82 percent, decided to cut the price of the 3DS within five months of the product’s introduction after consumers flocked toward Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and online games played on Facebook Inc.’s website.

Iwata is counting on games to be released in November and December, including “Super Mario 3DLand” and “Mario Kart” to drive sales of the devices in the holiday shopping season. Demand for the console in Japan slowed toward the end of the last month, according to data from researcher Enterbrain Inc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Naoko Fujimura in Tokyo at nfujimura@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net.

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