Nintendo Targets Japan Sales of 5 Million 3DS Units in 2013

Nintendo Co., the world’s largest maker of video game machines, is targeting sales of more than 5 million of its 3DS handheld console units in Japan this year.

President Satoru Iwata gave the sales target at a Capcom Co. event in Tokyo today, adding the company sold more than 5.5 million units last year. Nintendo, which has forecast global 3DS sales of 18 million this fiscal year, up from 13.95 million last year, plans to introduce a series of titles after Capcom’s “Monster Hunter 4,” he said. The game is slated for release in Japan Sept. 14.

Iwata took the helm of U.S. operations to drive sales growth at the creator of Super Mario before Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. introduce new consoles for this year’s holiday shopping season. The Kyoto, Japan-based company plans to introduce the latest version of “Pokemon” in October and “Mario Party” by the end of this year to compete with games played on Apple Inc.’s iPhone and other mobile devices.

“There are more and more media reports suggesting that things aren’t going very well for the dedicated gaming hardware business,” Iwata said. “But that’s not true, at least for the 3DS in Japan.” The only other machine that topped annual sales of 5 million units in the country is the 3DS’s predecessor, he said.

The maker of Wii consoles sold 1.4 million 3DS units globally in the three months ended June, down from 1.86 million a year earlier, Nintendo said Aug. 1.

Rival game console manufacturer Sony Corp. sold 600,000 units of its PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita portable players in the same period, the company said Aug. 1.

Nintendo rose 1.1 percent to 12,350 yen in Tokyo trading. The stock has gained 36 percent this year, compared with a 32 percent jump in broader Topix index.

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