Nintendo boss blames himself for 3DS woe

Iwata: "I feel greatly accountable."

Nintendo company president Satoru Iwata has taken personal responsibility for the floundering 3DS handheld, announcing he will slash his own salary by 50 per cent.

Iwata announced the dramatic measure at a shareholder meeting this morning, following yesterday's shock announcement of a huge 3DS price-cut which caused Nintendo stock to plummet 12 per cent.

"I am aware that realising both the short-term and the mid-to-long term profits is one of my responsibilities as part of the management," Iwata conceded.

"I feel greatly accountable for having to make the markdown shortly after the launch, for having damaged our consumers' trust, for having made a significant impact upon the financial forecasts, for the annual dividend now being expected to be significantly less than originally expected and for now forecasting that there will be no interim dividend."

For Iwata this means a personal price drop in his own salary - which the exec has decided to cut in half.

Iwata previously earned $2 million (1.2m) a year, with top designer Shigeru Miyamoto on $1.2 million (736,000).

"Representative directors" will have their wages reduced by 30 per cent. Other directors lose 20 per cent. Such measures are necessary, says Iwata, "for the management to show its accountability."

Explaining the new 3DS price point, Iwata said the company had "concluded that, for Nintendo 3DS to expand enough to become the successor of Nintendo DS, we have to take a drastic approach".

The 3DS will be sold at a loss, a highly unusual move for Nintendo.

To compensate gamers who have already paid for the 3DS, Nintendo yesterday announced a raft of free downloadable games to reward early adopters.

"We are aware this may cause you, the loyal fans who supported Nintendo 3DS from the beginning, to lose trust in us, and this is not our intention in any way," said Nintendo in a statement yesterday, announcing the Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors programme.

"Although we may not be able to completely prevent you from regretting purchasing Nintendo 3DS early, we would like to express our gratitude to our special customers like you," the statement concluded.

The UK 3DS price will be cut by a third beginning 12th August, likely meaning a reduction to 150-155.

Super Mario 3D Land, out this November.

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