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Business

Nintendo hoping for turnaround with Switch console

The maker of Super Mario and Pokemon has announced new details of its Nintendo Switch video game console. It's to launch in early March, but a lot of young people may be daunted by its hefty price tag.

Kyoto-based Nintendo released new details Friday on its new Switch video game console, which it said would hit the shops globally starting March 3.

Anticipation had been mounting for months. In teaser videos, Nintendo had shown players using a handheld, whose remote controller section detached from the left and right sides of the main part of the device's display.

This means that players will be able to use the Switch as a regular handheld, put the display on the table, or use a TV screen as a monitor.

"Nintendo Switch is a brand-new kind of home gaming system that offers a wide variety of play modes," Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima told reporters on Friday.

Turnaround potential?

The Japanese company badly needs the Switch to bring about a turnaround in its business after disappointing sales of its Wii U and the3DS handheld. With limited success, the firm has been trying to win consumers after a lot of clients dumped older machines in favor of using smartphones to play games.

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In addition, Nintendo has been facing fierce competition with regard to rival game machine offerings from Microsoft and Sony.

Nintendo said 50 software makers, including Electronic Arts and Sega, were preparing a total of 80 games for the Switch. It also promised in-house games such as a Legend of Zelda version, which would go on sale the same date as the Switch.

While Nintendo keeps focusing on younger players, these might be shocked by the hefty price tag of the Switch. The company said it would sell for $299.99 in the US, while customers in Europe "would need to ask retailers there for prices." In Japan itself, the Switch will sell for 29,980 yen ($260).

Investors were not happy about the price tag at all. Nintendo shares shed almost 6 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday.

hg/jd (AP, dpa)

 

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