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Nintendo: 3DS profitability "improving" despite overall losses

UPDATE: 3DS no longer being sold at a loss, as of today.

UPDATE: Nintendo has just confirmed it is no longer selling 3DS hardware at a loss. The change comes as of today, 25th July. The news was announced in addition to the company's latest financial report, detailed below.

While selling at a loss is not unusual for hardware manufacturers, it was a rare move by Nintendo. The company was forced to slash the price of the 3DS last summer in a bid to boost sales.

ORIGINAL STORY: Nintendo has described 3DS hardware sales as "improving", after announcing a new worldwide sales total of 19 million units.

The company sold 1,860,000 3DS consoles between April and June - over a million more than the company sold during the same period last year.

"The profitability of the Nintendo 3DS hardware is improving, but the hardware has been in negative margin," the company's latest financial report stated, noting that the system was still being sold at a loss.

Total 3DS software sales now stand at 52.81 million. That means 7.39 million more games were sold in the past three months, up from 4.53 million during the same time-frame in 2011.

Wii sales slowed to a trickle, however. Just 710,000 units were shifted over the last three months, making for a new worldwide total of 96.56 million Wii consoles sold. It's a slight increase on the previous total of 95.85 million at the end of March.

Overall, Nintendo made a loss of 17.2 billion yen (£141m) during the past three months, an improvement on the 25.5 billion yen (£210m) loss it suffered over the same period last year.

Nintendo's previously-released sales forecasts for the year remain: the company hopes to sell 18.5 million 3DS consoles, plus a combined 10.5 million Wii and Wii U units during the twelve months ending next March.

The Mario makers still expect to a return to profitability by the end of March 2013. Nintendo is pinning its hopes on the Wii U, which it reiterated would launch by the end of the year.

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